Labant: Best To Come

Vladimir Labant promises he will be an improved player next season.

Vladimir, who joined from Sparta Prague in winter off the back off the Czech break, says through Ludek Miklosko, who translates for him as he learns English, says:

"I have spoken to him and he is still not very happy with his performances; he says he feels it, that he has missed preseason and is not fit enough.

"When he came here he was just one month after the holiday and had had just one week with Sparta Prague, so he knows he needs more hard sessions in training to get fitter and stronger."

His progress was interrupted by an injury at Fulham and when he returned it was a tough test for him at White Hart Lane before he was subbed by the man he was brought to succeed, Nigel Winterburn.

"The Spurs game was very difficult as well because he hadn't trained with his back injury for maybe 10 days," says Ludo.

"He just started easy training on Thursday and Friday - and then on Saturday he played, so it was very difficult.

"He is also looking forward to the break and to a new preseason, and he knows he will have to work over the holiday period so he will come back much stronger than he is now.

"I think Glenn knows how difficult it is for players who come from abroad to this country; they need time to settle, and it is good from Glenn that he is giving him that and not putting any pressure on him."

And those white boots?

"It is just Nike boots that he played with for Sparta Prague and the national team - he likes them, but I don't know who cleans them!"

As for Tomas Repka, Ludo says:

"I think Tomas is playing okay, he is settled, the boys like him, he is a good character, and everyone respects him.

"He knew that he had to change for English football because it is more difficult and physical, but I think it suits him.

"He told me in Italy he had more time on the ball and no one was chasing him like here; he has less time now and needs to play the ball quicker but I think he prefers English football to Italian football."

Goalkeeping coach Ludo says of young goalkeepers Steve Bywater and David Forde:

"Steve is at Cardiff and he is not playing, which is a shame because he needs games - but that's life.

"David Forde has had an operation on his elbow, and we have done it now rather than after the season so it gives him time to be fit for preseason so everything will be fine.

"We will see what the situation is next season because we need three keepers."

As for the defeat at Highbury, he concludes:

"It was a disappointing result especially when we 'scored' a goal but I think it was a difficult decision for the referee especially from that angle - then we conceded two goals in the last 15 minutes.

"But I think it was a very good game and the boys gave everything, playing very well against the best team in England at this moment."