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Barnard determined to bounce back at Spurs

Tottenham striker Lee Barnard is determined to put behind him "my worst season ever".

An ankle forced the forward to miss virtually the entire of last season and he told the Spurs website: "It's all ifs and buts.

"The injury didn't help and if I'm honest, it's been the worst season ever for me. I only played four games and that says it all. At the start of the season I really wanted to be involved more in the first team, but it wasn't to be.

"I got my chance the previous season, thought I did okay and I was looking to come back in pre-season and really give it a go.

"I scored in Evian but I was struggling then with my ankle, pre-season wasn't the best and I needed to sort out the problem. It wasn't great timing but what can you do?

"You always have to look at the positives, sometimes it's hard to, but that's how you have to deal with it. Mentally it was tough but hopefully it's made me stronger. I'm sure I'm stronger for it, mentally and physically and it's just the sharpness I need now. I'm playing catch up but I'll work in the summer and I'll give it a real go next season."

It wasn't all doom and gloom though. Barnard must have been heartened to be involved in first team squads almost immediately after his return and he made the bench in the UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg against Sevilla.

"It was great to get back in the squad towards the end of the season and it was wonderful to make it onto the bench at Sevilla, that brought back great memories," he added. "I just want to play more games now.

"I think I've improved as a player. Next season is a big season for me. It would be nice to be in and around the first team again, to be in a few squads, on the bench and maybe play once or twice. I need that now at my age and I'm ready for it."

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