Pavlyuchenko: I felt the world had forgotten me
ROMAN Pavlyuchenko admits he has been driven by a desire to restore his reputation as he continues to re-build his Tottenham career. The �13.8million Russian international featured in just eight of Spurs' first 34 games during a nightmare...
By Ben Pearce
ROMAN Pavlyuchenko admits he has been driven by a desire to restore his reputation as he continues to re-build his Tottenham career.
The �13.8million Russian international featured in just eight of Spurs' first 34 games during a nightmare six months of the season, and only started twice - in the Carling Cup.
That all changed on February 21 when the 28-year-old came off the bench to score twice at Wigan, going on to score hit eight goals in six games.
Pavlyuchenko believes the world forgot about him during his prolonged spell in the background, and he admits he was desperate to grab the headlines again when his chance finally came.
"I wanted to remind people that there is such a football player as Roman Pavlyuchenko, and the transfer to Tottenham wasn't in vain for him or for the team," he said.
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"Reading the press, the press almost forgot about me and then there were different speculations about where I would be sold during the transfer season. So yes I wanted to prove to everybody that Roman Pavlyuchenko can still play and that he's still a good footballer.
"Anyone in my place would feel difficult in a similar situation, when you're a footballer and you're not allowed to play. Footballers don't have a long professional career or life span so you want to enjoy those years of playing in a team, winning and enjoying the game, being on the pitch."
Pavlyuchenko's prolific run was halted on Saturday when he limped off with a hamstring spasm at Stoke.
However, the in-form striker could be back to face Portsmouth this weekend, and he is keen to keep repaying the fans who stuck with him through his darkest times at Spurs.
"I can say that in all the teams I've played for in Russia I've never seen the level of support that I've received at this club," he said. "The fans have been very generous to me. Even when I haven't been playing for half the year they would still chant my name during the game.
"I was very lucky and very grateful to receive this support they provided. In the end, all that I am doing is for the fans to enjoy, this is the aim of the game.
"I took my chance and I wanted to capitalise on it as much as I could, but it's only been a couple of games now, and it's important to keep playing at this level for the rest of the season.
"I wouldn't say that my goals have galvanised the team. The team itself has progressed immensely and we are a much better team compared to last year, definitely in terms of the team spirit. We're almost like one family and that definitely contributes to the success, and I would say that this is the most important thing in football.
"My goals should be a credit to the whole team, not just to myself. I'm just presented with a chance, and all I'm trying to do is to capitalise on this chance.
"We still have to play the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. These are difficult teams but in football anything can happen, and any team can be a surprise.