ROBBIE KEANE: We've messed up, so let's finish in style
ROBBIE Keane this week admitted Tottenham have let themselves down badly in the Premier League. Spurs won silverware for the first time in nine years and qualified for Europe for the third time in a row this season, but the club s league form has been a h
ROBBIE Keane this week admitted Tottenham have let themselves down badly in the Premier League.
Spurs won silverware for the first time in nine years and qualified for Europe for the third time in a row this season, but the club's league form has been a huge disappointment for the stand-in skipper.
"I think with the players we have and the squad we have, we should certainly have done better in the league," Keane exclusively told Ham&High Sport. "We should have been up there doing what we've been doing for the past couple of years - challenging for the fifth spot. I think if I have one criticism it would be that."
Keane grabbed his 23rd goal of the season to fire Tottenham to all three points at relegation-threatened Reading on Saturday (see page 51). But the best the Lilywhites can hope for is 10th spot. They entertain fourth-placed Liverpool in the final game at the Lane on Sunday.
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Under Juande Ramos, Tottenham lifted the Carling Cup with a wonderful Wembley victory over Chelsea - the win also guaranteed Uefa Cup football next season. However, since then Spurs, who twice finished fifth under Martin Jol before his sacking, have flopped in the league.
"Overall, we wanted to get into Europe, we've done that," said Keane. "We also wanted to win a trophy and we've done that as well. That was great but of late we have not been playing as well as we would have liked.
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"I think it was important to get a good win and keep a clean sheet at Reading. Hopefully, we can do that against Liverpool.
"I think it is also very important to end the season on a high, especially as the final game is at home. It is in front of our own fans and it is chance to say farewell to them, if you like, and I think it will be a good occasion. But it will only be a good occasion if we get a good result."
Keane's clinical finish at the Madejski Stadium saw him draw level with strike partner Dimitar Berbatov, but the Irishman says he is not concerned about finishing ahead of the Bulgarian in the scoring charts.
"I'm not bothered either way if I finish ahead of Berby," he said. "There is no wager between us and once we do well for the team, that's the most important thing."
However, Keane is delighted with his own form. "From a personal point of view it has been great," he said. "Every year I always look to do better more than the previous season. I've been fortunate that since I've been at Tottenham I've achieved that every season and 23 goals is my best tally for a season. I'm fairly happy with that and I'm looking forward to next season."
The Irishman felt that Spurs played some of their best football against Reading, particularly in the first half. "I think that first half performance generally from the team was first class, absolutely tremendous.
"It must have been great to watch because it was certainly great to play in. Some of our football at times was scintillating and I certainly enjoyed playing in it."
l Keane was one of three Spurs players chosen to wear the club's new strip at the official launch on Tuesday night in London. The other two were Jonathan Woodgate and Jermaine Jenas.