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May 3, 2013

Assou-Ekotto targets Spurs stay

Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto has said he would be happy to finish his career at White Hart Lane and hopes to play at the club's planned new stadium.

Left-back Assou-Ekotto, who joined the North Londoners from Lens in 2006, says he feels a "strong bond" with the club.

And he believes that, under the chairmanship of Daniel Levy and the management of Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham are on an upward curve.

Speaking to the Guardian, the Cameroon international said: "I would be quite happy to see out my playing career here, although I know that it's not my call to make.

"I have every desire to see out my contractual obligations and, if possible, extend so that I can be here for long enough to play at the new stadium."

Assou-Ekotto said he had been surprised when Tottenham axed former manager Harry Redknapp last summer, adding that successor Villas-Boas had a very different approach.

"I phoned Harry straight away [after his sacking]," he said. "I liked working with him - he has a cool attitude. With AVB, he changes his teams more, moves them around. Some players will play two or three different positions in a single match.

"The one thing that I can say with certainty is that the chairman has the club moving in the right direction. I've seen the growth, first-hand, over seven years. You have to respect that."

He revealed that, during a frustrating four-month lay-off with a knee injury at the start of the season, he had watched home games incognito, sitting among the Tottenham fans.

"I now feel I have a better understanding of what it is to be a supporter and, for me, there are two types," he explained.

"There are the fans who pass judgment quickly - who say, from the comfort of their seats, how they would have cut the ball on the inside, swung the ball around or brought it down. It was like I was sitting with Messi, Ronaldo and Maradona.

"Then you have the other supporter, who understands the technical things a bit more and is patient. They are smaller in number, but they do exist."

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