Huddlestone desperate to win place in Spurs' cup final squad
TOM Huddlestone may have played at Wembley before but he is desperate to return for Tottenham in Sunday s Carling Cup Final against Chelsea. The 21-year-old midfielder has turned out for England Under-21s at the world famous stadium but knows that competi
TOM Huddlestone may have played at Wembley before but he is desperate to return for Tottenham in Sunday's Carling Cup Final against Chelsea.
The 21-year-old midfielder has turned out for England Under-21s at the world famous stadium but knows that competition for places in Juande Ramos's final line-up will be fierce.
The main thing for me is to get myself into the squad for Sunday," Huddlestone told Ham&High Sport. It will be a great day out and we will be going there full of confidence. We don't fear anyone.
"At the end of the day it is a football game we've got to win. The manager instills the confidence that regardless of the opposition if we play our own way we will win the game."
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Last season Spurs fell in the semi-final of the Carling Cup to Arsenal and bowed out of the last eight stage in the Uefa Cup to holders Sevilla.
Now, Huddlestone, who been one of the players to have benefited most from the Spaniard's new diet and fitness regime at the Lane, believes the Lilywhites can end the club's nine-year trophy famine on Sunday.
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"After semi-finals and quarter-finals last year and back to back fifth places in the Premier League, we needed to take the next step, which is obviously a final," he said. Hopefully, we'll win one of the cups this year."
The new, slim-line Huddlestone is now producing some of the best form of his career - he was particularly outstanding in tandem with Jermaine Jenas against Manchester United in the league game at the Lane - and he puts the revival down to Ramos's strict revolution - on and off the field.
"I spoke to the new manager after he came in when I wasn't in the team and he told me I was part of his plans," he said.
"That boosted my confidence but he also said he wasn't sure if I could last 90 minutes.
"So I've quit certain foods and I'm now working harder in training. Training is harder than it was under the previous manager [Martin Jol]. It's the same for everyone.
"We don't get many days off and I think it can be seen in our performances recently. They are getting better.
"Also, when you feel lighter and fitter you have more confidence on the ball."
And off the pitch Huddlestone is also seeing the rewards of a new diet. "Most of the food now is dry and we're told not to have too much sugar," he said. "I do miss ketchup especially when I eat chicken. But the main thing with me is trying to stick to drinking water instead of fruit juices which have a lot of sugar in them.
"I don't drink water all the time but I try to stick to it as much as I can. It goes straight through me. I've lost a bit but I'm not really concerned with that.
"I'm more focused on my fitness and and being able to last 90 minutes and running more than I was doing before."
Huddlestone, signed from Derby for £2 million two and a half years ago, has played in the last four games, including the 2-1 Uefa Cup win over Slavia Prague last Thursday.
"I played three of those games in six days and that is something the manager would not have trusted me to do before," explained Huddlestone.
"We got some big games coming up, starting with the second leg against Slavia at the Lane on Thursday and then the Carling Cup final against Chelsea."