O'Hara: I can make a difference for Harry
WHO is Tottenham s top midfield goal scorer to date this season? The answer is not Croatian World Cup star Luka Modric or experienced England internationals of David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon. Step forward rookie Jamie O Hara, who has score
WHO is Tottenham's top midfield goal scorer to date this season?
The answer is not Croatian World Cup star Luka Modric or experienced England internationals of David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon.
Step forward rookie Jamie O'Hara, who has scored three times in his nine starts in all competitions this season.
In fact, the 22-year-old has scored in three separate competitions - the Premier League, the Uefa Cup and the Carling Cup.
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O'Hara hammered home Spurs' second in last week's superb 2-0 league win at Upton Park. It was his second in four games, having scored the winner against NEC Nijmegen in the Uefa Cup in Holland. The self-confessed Lilywhites fan also netted in the Carling Cup win at Newcastle earlier in the season.
"I was a little bit disappointed not to have started against West Ham and hopefully scoring a goal like that will give the manager a few selection problems," O'Hara told Ham&High Sport.
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"Playing in the Premier League is my bread and butter and that's where I want to get my games. It was a great feeling to score a goal in the Premier League. We were coming under a bit of pressure at the time and that [strike] really killed the game off for us."
The England Under-21 international was back on the bench for Saturday's clash against champions Manchester United at the Lane and came on for the last half-hour to play his part in a well-deserved scoreless draw.
"We've got a great squad here and the lads have been playing really well under Harry Redknapp, so it is difficult to get in the side," admitted O'Hara, who only made his first-team debut last December.
"I've scored a total of five goals for the club now and it is nice to be on the score sheet more frequently. All I can do is keep working hard and to make the manager's decisions as difficult as possible."
And with Spurs still involved in all four competitions - they entertain Spartak Moscow in their final Uefa Cup group match tonight at the Lane - and injuries mounting up there is every chance of O'Hara having further chances to impress Redknapp.
"We are still in all three cup competitions - we've drawn Wigan at home in the FA Cup before a two-legged Carling Cup semi-final against Burnley," explained O'Hara, whose one big disappointment to date was missing out on a place in the Spurs squad for the Carling Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
"Reaching Wembley last season was fantastic for the club and for everyone involved with it," he said. "But personally I was disappointed not to make the squad.
"Now we have a great chance of getting there again. On paper we are favourites going into those two games against Burnley. But they have beaten Chelsea and Arsenal and are doing really well in their league this season.
"They are going to be difficult games but when you get to a semi-final of any cup competition you can expect a tough test.
"We have to feel we can reach the final again. The lads all believe we can do it and as long as we are not complacent we have every chance of enjoying that experience again."
Before then Spurs face three vital league games, starting at Newcastle on Sunday, and O'Hara admits the main focus has to be on collecting more points to move away from the relegation zone.
"We've had an unbelievable turnaround since the new boss has come in, especially as we had started the season so poorly," he said. "Everybody has dug deep and Harry has given everyone a lift.
"The league table is so squeezed at the moment - a couple of wins can move you into the top half. Everyone can beat anyone on their day and if we can keep doing what we have been doing then I can't see any reason why we can't get back into the European places.