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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 6, 2007

Davenport determined to earn his Spurs

Tottenham defender Calum Davenport is determined to establish himself as a top-flight player but does not want to take the 'easy option' of leaving White Hart Lane in search of regular football.

The 24-year-old will get another chance to impress in Sunday's FA Cup clash at Cardiff but he knows skipper Ledley King will return to the starting line-up when he recovers from a bruised foot.

However, the former England Under-21 centre-back has been pleased with his form when called on as Spurs have made progress in their two other cup competitions, and he insists he is settled at the club despite being consistently linked with a transfer.

Davenport said: 'Sometimes it's difficult time in the transfer window. They are a big club and are linked with a lot of players. It might unsettle some people but it doesn't unsettle me.

'I think it's nice if other managers have been watching you and like you, I take it as a compliment. Since I haven't really featured that much for them to notice me, it's nice that they have.'

Davenport arrived from Coventry in 2004 and has since had loan spells at West Ham, Southampton and Norwich, and his recent spell in the starting XI at Spurs has been his first run in the team for his parent club.

He admits he is at a stage in his career where he wants to be playing regularly and believes he and fellow reserve centre-back Anthony Gardner have a responsibility to push King and Michael Dawson.

'I'm 24 and want to establish myself as a Premiership player, hopefully I can do that this season,' he said.

'All we can do is push them, that's what I intend to do. There's no point having two players moping about and getting on the manager's back.'

Spurs have been linked with a move for West Brom centre-back Curtis Davies but boss Martin Jol insists he is happy with Gardner and Davenport, and with UEFA Cup and Carling Cup ties coming up they could get a chance to impress.

'An easy option sometimes is to look elsewhere but from my point of view, Tottenham are a massive club who have brought me in on a five-year deal,' Davenport said.

'When things don't go your way it's easy to jump ship but I've worked hard and I feel in recent weeks I'm getting the rewards for the last couple of years.

'I believe in myself 100%. If it doesn't come your way you still keep believing.

'I want to stay here - this is where I want to be.'

He added: 'You never know what is round the corner in the long run, but I'm thoroughly enjoying my time being in the team at the moment, once Ledley is back I'll probably be out of the team but that's football. You have to take it on the chin and move on.'

Davenport is set to partner Dawson against Cardiff at Ninian Park, a stadium with a reputation for hostility, as shown in the 2002 upset against Leeds.

The trip to Wales could provide an FA Cup baptism of fire for the foreign Spurs players who have recently been brought to the club.

'You don't realise it until you experience it,' said Davenport, who lost there 4-1 with West Ham. 'If they (the foreign players) don't then they will on the day, with the atmosphere down there.

'It's a difficult place to go, they are well known for their fans. I've played down there before and quite like it with the fans, it brings out the best in you when playing in the big games. It will be loud, but I'm sure we can cope with that.'

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