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Berbatov is back but King is determined to keep him quiet

PUBLISHED: 14:15 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 September 2010

MIDDLESBROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 16:  Dimitar Berbatov of Tottenham Hotspur looks on from the bench during the Barclays Premier League match bewteen Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium on August 16, 2008 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

MIDDLESBROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 16: Dimitar Berbatov of Tottenham Hotspur looks on from the bench during the Barclays Premier League match bewteen Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium on August 16, 2008 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

LEDLEY King this week warned his Tottenham players – we are not keeping enough clean sheets. The Spurs skipper scored the opening goal – his first for three years – in Monday night s 2-0 win over West Ham at Upton Park as the Lilywhites moved three points

LEDLEY King this week warned his Tottenham players - we are not keeping enough clean sheets.

The Spurs skipper scored the opening goal - his first for three years - in Monday night's 2-0 win over West Ham at Upton Park as the Lilywhites moved three points clear of the relegation zone.

But it was only Tottenham's third clean sheet in the eight games under new manager Harry Redknapp and King wants more.

"We have not been keeping enough clean sheets, especially in tight games where neither team creates too much," King told Ham&High Sport.

"In our defeats against Everton and Fulham, they scored the first goal and that was crucial. But against West Ham we were able to reverse the roles. It was one of our best performances of the season."

Spurs entertain Premier League champions Manchester United at the Lane on Saturday teatime and King knows the Lilywhites will be hard pressed to keep a fourth.

The England international, whose ongoing knee problems mean he can only play one game a week, is determined to recover in time to play against the Red Devils, who are likely to include ex-Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov.

"I am desperate to face United because I want to play in all the big games," said King. "It is a shorter week than normal for me, with the West Ham game on a Monday night, but I will do my best to prepare and, hopefully, I will be available.

"I probably won't train between now and Saturday. I miss a lot of training, but until the match comes along, I won't be counted out. I have niggles, but I just leave it and wait for the day. I have no problems with that."

Although Berbatov is guaranteed to receive a red-hot reception from the Spurs fans, who were angry and dismayed at the manner of his controversial £30.75million move to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day, King is looking forward to facing the Bulgarian.

"Dimitar was brilliant for the club and I'm sure he will get a good reception as Robbie Keane got in the end from the fans," said King. "He was a fans' favourite when he was here and I'm sure they appreciate what he did for the club. But hopefully we can keep him quite on Saturday."

pat.mooney@hamhigh.co.uk


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