GOMES: I have the character and the talent to stay at Spurs
INTERVIEW WITH PAT MOONEY: THE Spurs player under most pressure week in, week out this season is goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. The Brazilian keeper, signed in the summer for £7.8million from PSV Eindhoven as Paul Robinson s replacement, has endured a harrowing start to his career in E
THE Spurs player under most pressure week in, week out this season is goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
The Brazilian keeper, signed in the summer for £7.8million from PSV Eindhoven as Paul Robinson's replacement, has endured a harrowing start to his career in England.
Gomes made a series of high-profile errors as Tottenham struggled under Juande Ramos before the Spaniard was sacked and replaced by Harry Redknapp.
But Redknapp, who has overseen a startling revival at the Lane, has kept faith with Gomes. Indeed, one of the first things Redknapp did was to employ former Spurs goalkeeper Tony Parks as a coach to help the Brazilian. And Gomes's performances have been transformed in recent weeks.
Although he has beaten twice against Newcastle on Sunday, the Brazilian made a stunning late save to deny Ryan Giggs and secure a point against Manchester United the previous week.
At last Gomes believes he is getting to grips with life in the Premier Division. "I feel better now and my form is coming back," Gomes told Ham&High Sport. "What was happening before meant it was very difficult for me to enjoy my football.
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"It was always going to take time to adapt to England and now I know a bit more about what happens on the pitch over here. And when the manager has confidence in the player it is very important, it gives me more confidence."
Gomes is also quick to praise the role Parks has played in his recovery. "It's a very good relationship," he said. "Tony's a great goalkeeping coach. He makes me strong every time and that's good for me. My communication is better now and I feel better.
"Tottenham has big defenders and strong defenders. When you have a solid defence it's good for the goalkeeper as well."
Gomes also revealed he has been playing with a rib injury for the past two months and that his problem was not a lack of confidence but the injury. "I'm not 100 per cent fit," he admitted. "My problem is my ribs on my right side. It happened before the game against Stoke City - I swore for a long time and thought I'd never play again.
"No, my big problem was that I continued to play with an injury. But then Tony came in and made a difference with me step by step.
"I don't think about the injury, I only think about the game. When I make a save I still have a little bit of pain. I have been doing different work in training but the most important thing is the games."
There is little doubt that Redknapp will attempt to sign another keeper in January but Gomes is not particularly worried. "I know I am a very good goalkeeper at the top level," he said. "It's difficult for the opposition to score goals against me. I am confident now and I am better.
"In my head I still think big and believe I will play for Spurs a long time.
"I came here to play but it was difficult because people said is not the goalkeeper for Tottenham. Bit I've come back step by step. The fans have made me strong and I think my bad performances are in the past.
After his worst howler at Craven Cottege when he conceded a soft goal in the 2-1 defeat the Brazilian admitted his family helped him through those difficult times.
"When I went home I blocked it out and spoke with my family and everyone," he said. "Everyone in my family helped me so much and that was important for me. It was a bad moment for me.
"I came back in the second half of that game and made a good save. My mentality is so strong."
And Gomes now feels he can go on and show Redknapp and the Spurs fans why he was rated a world class keeper with PSV.
"I had four big seasons in Holland," he said. "I helped PSV so much and they helped me so much as well.
"England is a big challenge but I think I am better now [after mistakes] and I will help Tottenham so much in the next games."