Kranjcar: Time to test Spurs' strength in depth
THE time has come for Spurs to put their money where their mouth is and prove the strength of their squad, according to Niko Kranjcar. The Lilywhites are facing a midfield injury crisis, with Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon...
By Ben Pearce
THE time has come for Spurs to put their money where their mouth is and prove the strength of their squad, according to Niko Kranjcar.
The Lilywhites are facing a midfield injury crisis, with Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon and David Bentley all sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Spurs have repeatedly boasted about the quality of their reserve players this season, but Kranjcar knows that actions speak louder than words.
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" You'd hope you didn't have any of those injuries but we do and we have to live with it. I think at the beginning of the season we'd all be happy to be in the position we're in at this point," said Kranjcar.
"Is the squad big enough? Well maybe with four or five injured in the midfield you'd say not but who would have said we'd have them all injured at the same time. We've said from day one that we do have that [strength in depth] and it's time to see if we do. We hope we do.
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"From the beginning of the season we said we had a massive squad and that we will need them - that anybody can replace anyone and we've proved that again. Now we've got problems with the midfielders but hopefully we can cope with that."
Kranjcar believes that the recent form of David Bentley, Gareth Bale and Roman Pavlyuchenko proves that Spurs' back-up players have the ability to make an instant impact.
"That's what we've been saying from day one," said the 25-year-old Croatian. "Not one of us wants to start on the bench but we have such great players that, when you miss somebody, those on the bench are really top quality international players - like David, Gareth and Pav have proved, having not really featured in the first part of the season. It's a squad game and hopefully that squad can push us up to come fourth.
"I've always rated Pav very highly. We all know he can score goals and he's proving that. Of course you're happy for a player who didn't play a lot throughout the season but we all believe he's a great goalscorer.
"I think we all believe, he himself believes and the gaffer too that once he gets his chance he's going to use it. He's using it now, he's a massive boost."
And Kranjcar believes the same can be said of his international team-mate Luka Modric, who has seemingly hit top gear again after making a slow and cagey return from his 15-week injury lay-off.
"He proved that when he came on against Wigan last week - he was sublime - and he had a great game against Everton," Kranjcar continued.
"We've both known that since we played together in the national team we've benefited from playing together. I think we get the best out of each other.
"Every injured player that's out for three or four months needs time to get settled and he's going to have ups and downs in the remaining games, but I think he's coming back to full fitness.
"The games are coming quick for us and it helps your fitness and confidence to play so many games. He can give us a big boost now and I think he will.