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BAE confident of reclaiming shirt
Published : 06 Jan 2013 13:22:00Rss feed
Benoit Assou-Ekotto has no fears about losing his place in Tottenham's first team after making his return from a four-month injury lay-off. Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton have impressed at left-back since Assou-Ekotto injured his knee back in September, while Spurs have also recently added highly-rated full-back Zeki Fryers to their squad. But Assou-Ekotto, who has been the club's first-choice left-back since he joined from Lens in 2006, slotted easily back in to the team on Saturday as Tottenham moved in to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Coventry. And the Cameroon defender insists he will make the position his own once again. "It's not a problem," Assou-Ekotto said when asked about competition for his position. "When I came here six years ago I was in competition with Gilberto, Lee Young-Pyo and Gareth Bale and it ended up being my place (in the team) so it's not a problem." Assou-Ekotto's return brought the best out of Bale on Saturday as the Welshman combined well his team-mate to wreak havoc down the left flank. Assou-Ekotto had only expected to be out for a few weeks when he suffered the injury in September, but the problem was worse than feared and surgery was considered to clean out a bone fragment in his knee. The enigmatic 28-year-old insists he had no problems during his comeback game thanks to Tottenham's recent excellent form. "It was not difficult because it is more easy to come back in to a team who are playing well," the defender told Spurs TV Online. "It was easy to play. I am cool to come back and to have a win at the end of the game so it's cool for us, for the team and for me." Coventry arrived at White Hart Lane looking to pull off a repeat of their heroic 1987 FA Cup final win over Spurs, but their spirits dampened after 12 minutes when Bale flicked on Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick in to the path of Clint Dempsey and he stabbed past Joe Murphy. Dempsey's deflected shot then fell for Bale and he doubled the lead before the Welshman provided the American with a perfect cross which he dispatched with a well-placed header to make it 3-0. Tottenham were always big favourites to beat their League One opponents, but assistant manager Steffen Freund was pleased with his side's professionalism. "When you are 3-0 up at half-time, the opposition has nothing to lose, they will come out and try and score a goal," Freund said. "We kept a clean sheet as well and it wasn't easy. Coventry are strong away, they have a good away record of seven wins in the league so to keep a clean sheet in the second half was good for us."
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