Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Benoit Has Unfinished Business at the Lane

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Benoit Has Unfinished Business at the Lane

Article excerpt

Byline: Jochan Embley

BENOIT ASSOU-EKOTTO has not given up hope of regaining his place at Tottenham despite spending this season on loan at Queens Park Rangers.

The left-back was shipped out to Loftus Road by the then Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas at the beginning of September and has played 27 games in all competitions for the Championship side.

Assou-Ekotto, 30, will return to his parent club at the end of the season and said: "I have one more year on my contract with Tottenham.

"As many people know, Tottenham are a good club and if I can finish my contract there, cool. If people don't want me there, then I will have to find another club. But my first target is to stay at Tottenham."

However, after a season out of the top flight, there is no doubt where his heart lies. "I prefer to play in the Premier League," he said. "The ball in the Premier League is more on the floor." After a strong start, only dropping points in three of their first 11 league games, Harry Redknapp's side began to falter and now sit 10 points off automatic promotion with eight matches remaining. A 1-0 win over Wigan on Tuesday helped to maintain their position and, although Assou-Ekotto believes there is still a chance of making second, he is confident of their chances should they have to go through the play-offs.

The defender said: "There are eight games left and for us they are eight finals. We will try to win every game. If we don't have to play the play-offs it would be perfect for us.

"In the play offs, even if you are confident about your players, there is still the risk [of missing out on promotion]. You never know if you will lose your concentration and lose a goal. But we have to be confident. If we participate in the Play-Off Final then we have a chance. It will be the team who is more focused who will have more chance."

Having to go via Wembley on their way back to the Premier League was something Redknapp would have ideally wanted to avoid but, despite the current predicament, Assou-Ekotto is firmly behind his boss.

"He's done a good job," the defender said. …

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