Carter-Vickers Determined Not to Disappoint Spurs Boss Pochettino
Thursday, 8th Feb 2018 17:16
Big things are expected of new Town recruit Cameron Carter-Vickers, Mauricio Pochettino, manager of his parent club Tottenham, having tipped him to become one of England’s best centre-backs.
The 20-year-old, who was on loan at Sheffield United earlier this season, has yet to make his Premier League debut for the Londoners. But Pochettino has clearly seen enough in the youngster’s four cup outings to convince him of his potential to establish himself at the club.
Carter-Vickers said: “It’s definitely a boost when your manager says that about you. It makes me want to keep working hard and live up to his expectations. I don’t want to disappoint him. I had four first-team games last season – two in the Carabao Cup and two in the FA Cup.
“I played against Aston Villa and against Liverpool at Anfield, so it’s all great experience. The next step, hopefully, will be to play in the Premier League, but right now I’m trying to impress with Ipswich and help the team as much as I can, then next season I’ll go back to Tottenham and see what happens.
“They are my club at the moment and they are a club that likes to give young players a chance. I’ll go back there for pre-season training in the summer and see what happens from there.
“I’ve been with Tottenham a long time, since the age of 11, after they saw me playing Sunday football over the park with my friends.”
Carter-Vickers has learned a lot in his time with Spurs, much of it from lining up against England striker Harry Kane in training, and he added: “Last season there were a lot of occasions when I was playing against him. In my opinion he’s the best striker in the world right now so it’s good to test yourself against such a good player.
“That experience can only improve you because you have to learn how to find different ways of defending against a player of his ability.
“If you can do that against the very best you are going to find it a bit easier to defend against other strikers who are nowhere near as good.
“Harry is very focused on everything he does – his diet, his training, what he does in the gym and the way he lives his life in general. He is determined to be the best he can.
“There are many good professionals at Tottenham but if you’re looking for the best example of a model pro it’s him. You can see just from the way he carries himself that he’s a proper professional.
“Harry had loan spells at Millwall, Norwich and Leicester that helped him on his way. There’s a definite pathway there, going out on loan to gain valuable experience and then going back to your club and taking your opportunity when it comes.”
Carter-Vickers isn’t the only professional sportsman in his family. His father, Howard Carter, was a basketball player for 16 years, initially in his native America for the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks, before moving to Europe and spending time in both France and Crete before retiring in 1999.
“Dad played basketball – but it was ages ago now,” laughed Carter-Vickers. “I’ve seen little bits of him in action on DVD but not a great deal.
“He grew up in America and I grew up in England, so I was never into basketball. It was always football, the main sport in this country, for me from an early age.
“My dad watches me when he can and I talk to him regularly on the phone. He played a different sport but he can still pass on a few tips about professional sport, stuff like how to be a pro athlete as a whole.
“I do like watching basketball on television but the time difference makes it difficult and I don’t have a team that I follow.
“It’s through my dad that I have played for the USA at international level. I’ve played for them since I was 17 or 18 and I always enjoying meeting up with them for the games. I know the players well by now and I look forward to going over there.
“They failed to qualify for the World Cup this year and everyone associated with US soccer – I have to call it that – was very disappointed.
“It’s like the start of a new era over there and young guys like me have to try to step up a level. The one senior game I played was a friendly so I could still play for England if they wanted me and I decided to do that.
“Like I said, I always enjoy going to represent the USA and I’m passionate about it.”
During his time on loan with Town parent club Tottenham are keeping a close eye on his progress, with former West Ham defender Paul Brush taking in the recent home clash with Wolves in his role as a development coach with the London club.
Carter-Vickers said: “There are a few people at the club who attend games involving loan players and they phone up quite regularly too. They are interested in how you are doing, both on and off the pitch.
“They can obviously watch you in games but if you are living away from home they will check on you to make sure things are going well off the pitch too.
“I enjoyed my time in Sheffield, which is a big city, and it was a new experience for me to be living that far away from London. It’s quieter here but I’m enjoying it as well.
“There are a lot of young Tottenham players out on loan so I’ll probably bump into them here and there. Will Miller, who was at Tottenham, went on loan to Burton last season and then joined them permanently at the start of this season, so I’ll probably see him on Saturday.”
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