Teddy's Timely Return

WITH 241 appearances and 103 goals to his name for Tottenham Hotspur, it's no surprise to hear Teddy Sheringham admitting that West Ham United's visit to White Hart Lane this Sunday is one of his most eagerly awaited fixtures of the season.

The 39-year-old enjoyed a glorious first spell with Spurs between 1992 and 1997 and returned to the Lane for two more years between 2001 and 2003 after sweeping all before him as part of Sir Alex Ferguson's all conquering Manchester United.

Now a firm favourite at Upton Park, and with four goals in eight Premiership starts this season still very much an integral part of Alan Pardew's team, the former England star is looking forward to returning to White Hart Lane this weekend.

And, having plied his trade for so long in North London, Teddy admits that Hammers face a tough task to take anything from the Lane on Sunday.

"It was definitely one of the fixtures I looked out for when they were announced," he confessed. "You always look forward to going back to your former clubs, and I'm certainly no different in that respect.

"I've always enjoyed playing at White Hart Lane. It's a great place to play football and I'm certainly looking forward to going back there and hopefully seeing a few familiar faces.

"It's going to be a really good London derby atmosphere, but they will have home advantage and that means we're really going to have to work hard to take something from the game.

"Spurs are doing really well at the moment. They have assembled a good side there, which in many ways is quite similar to ours in that it's got a solid mix of youth and experience.

"There are definitely similarities between the two teams. Both sides have some very good young English players who are really making a name for themselves in the Premiership this season.

"It's a huge game, particularly for the West Ham fans who are sure to give us fantastic support and really enjyoy themselves.

"But for the players it's important that we don't get too caught up in what's going on around us and just go out there aiming to take all three points. This will be a tough game, but this is the Premiership and you face a tough match pretty much every week at this level.

"We're ready and well prepared for the game, the lads are up for it and hopefully we can put in a strong performance at White Hart Lane."

Manager Alan Pardew admits that it will be an emotional return for his talismanic striker, but the Hammers boss believes in Teddy's big match ability.

"It'll be an emotional day for Teddy," said Pards. "He'll have a lot of fond memories from his time there and it'll give him a great buzz when he walks into the ground.

"They'll be some familiar faces no doubt and it'll be great for him to go back there, especially when he is playing so well and looking in such great condition.

"We know how Teddy is. He doesn't need to tell me that he's really up for this type of game. If you look back throughout his career you will see that he often comes alive in the big games.

"Teddy has been terrific for us this season. Apart from the rest days that we give him, he hardly misses any training and is in fantastic shape.

"It's certainly going to be a big game for him, but knowing Teddy I'm sure he'll rise to the occasion."