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Jenas confident of overcoming worst Spurs start in 53 years

PUBLISHED: 11:42 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010

Tottenham s 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Sunday lunchtime leaves the Lilywhites with just two points from the opening six league games - the club s worst start to a league season in 53 years. But Jenas, Tottenham s vice-captain following the departure of R

Tottenham's 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Sunday lunchtime leaves the Lilywhites with just two points from the opening six league games - the club's worst start to a league season in 53 years.

But Jenas, Tottenham's vice-captain following the departure of Robbie Keane to Liverpool in the summer, is backing the club's under-fire players to get it right.

"Yes, big players have left this season but that is something we have to handle as a team," Jenas told Ham&High Sport.

"What we now have is a bunch of players who want to play for Tottenham. We are together and we are focused on turning it round.

"They want to do their best for the club and get the club into a place where we know it should be, given the quality we have in the team."

Jenas is also backing under-fire Russian newcomer Roman Pavlyuchenko, who was substituted at Fratton Park on Sunday.

"It is a completely different way of life for him," he said. "Never mind the football side, he is in a completely different country and doesn't really understand the language - yet. He scored against Newcastle in the Carling Cup last week and I still think this has helped him. But when you don't win games, one or two players will start to lack confidence."

Yet, Jenas is not one of those players - that is why coach Juande Ramos picked him as vice-captain. Indeed, despite Tottenham's league woes the midfielder revealed he is aiming to catch the eye of Fabio Capello - and establish himself as a regular starter in the England side.

The former Newcastle player has made 20 international appearances for his country but has only started four times and admits it has been a frustrating wait behind the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

But Jenas impressed when he came off the bench in England's last World Cup outing in Croatia and is targeting a starting place against Kazakhstan at Wembley on Saturday week.

"Don't get wrong I love playing for England but I just don't want to be a squad player who sits on the bench every match," said Jenas. "Yes, it does get to me that I always seem to have Lampard and Gerrard ahead of me.

"But at the same time I was happy to have that opportunity to come off the bench and put in a strong performance.

"I deserved to be a part of it. If Fabio feels he wants to play me on the left wing, the right wing or centre midfield, I'm more than happy to be part of of whatever team gets us to the next World Cup. Of course you get frustrated as player and a human being - you want to play.

"I think it is a good trait to be angry at not playing. I'm never happy when I'm not playing and I feel that as long as I'm working hard I will eventually get my chance.

"Fabio is a manager who has shown if you are playing well for your club then you are in with a shout."

pat.mooney@hamhigh.co.uk

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