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Cottee column: I can't wait for derby day!

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 November 2012

West Ham United's Tony Cottee reaches the ball ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's Brian Statham (c) in 1987. Pic: PA

West Ham United's Tony Cottee reaches the ball ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's Brian Statham (c) in 1987. Pic: PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

West Ham legend previews weekend trip to Tottenham Hotspur

I used to love playing in the Spurs v West Ham games.

I loved the atmosphere inside the ground and I had a great record of scoring against them – particularly at White Hart Lane.

The local players like Mark Noble and James Tomkins will feel the importance of it as much as the fans. They have that attachment, that maybe one or two of the new foreign players like Modibo Maiga won’t.

But even Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll, for example, will be aware of the history between the two clubs and the rivalry, so the boys in the dressing room will know how big a game it is for West Ham.

If you look at the form of the two clubs West Ham can certainly go there with nothing to fear, it’s important to be positive.

I would like to see us improve on our final ball – it’s the only thing that’s missing at the moment.

Spurs have weaknesses, though I wouldn’t read too much into their result against Arsenal. They played very well until Emmanuel Adebayor got sent off on 17 minutes and I think anyone would struggle with 10 men against Arsenal.

But defensively they can be vulnerable at left-back and through the middle. I just hope we put on a show for our fans and I’d happily see us take a point.

Where will the goals come from?

Kevin Nolan is being heavily relied upon for goals at the moment. We’re still waiting for Andy Carroll to score and we haven’t really got anyone else chipping in.

We’re not the only club though, think about where Liverpool would be without Luis Suarez or Sunderland without Steven Fletcher.

If we look at what West Ham spend, they cannot compete with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, who are going to be fighting for the title.

There’s a group underneath that – the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, Newcastle and Everton – some of whom have spent big money, so for West Ham to be in and around them is a great achievement.

I think we can look to be finishing in eighth or ninth place – you want to get on that first page of the league table.

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