Belfast Telegraph

Walker - I don't practice free-kicks

Tottenham defender Kyle Walker revealed he does not practice set-pieces following his superb free-kick in his side's 2-0 win over Blackburn in the Barclays Premier League.

Harry Redknapp's side dominated the game but were only 1-0 ahead when Rovers midfielder David Dunn brought down Aaron Lennon with 74 minutes gone. Walker, who was named PFA Young Player of the Year last weekend, took the resulting free-kick, with a stunning finish the outcome.

"I don't practice free-kicks, but I just felt it was right," Walker told the club's official website. "Rafa (Rafael van der Vaart) placed the ball down and I said 'Can I have it?' and he said 'No chance'. But then he said I could have it and that was that. As soon as it left my foot, I thought 'It's got a chance' but you never know until it hits the net."

Van der Vaart opened the scoring midway through the first half, but despite Blackburn failing to offer any form of attacking threat Spurs could not find the decisive second goal until Walker struck with a little over 15 minutes remaining.

"You always need the second goal to ease the pressure," he said. "I thought it was a good team performance from back to front. We've got the three points and we'll look to take this form into the next game at Bolton."

Walker's effort was the first direct free-kick Spurs have scored this season, although Redknapp was not too confident when he saw his young full-back take aim.

"I turned to the bench and said 'Surely he's not going to shoot from there, he's not going to beat Robbo (Paul Robinson)', and he stuck it in the top corner. It was great for Kyle, a fantastic goal," he said.

With Walker gaining plaudits among fans, pundits and fellow professionals alike, Redknapp reckons the former Sheffield United youngster has a bright future.

"He's a young lad who has come into the side and is learning all the time," he said. "He's got everything, he's quick as lightning and he's learning the defensive side of it as well. He's certainly a lad with a big future."

The victory over relegation-threatened Blackburn was just Tottenham's second win in 10 league games, but Redknapp, who now looks set to remain at White Hart Lane after the Football Association approached West Brom boss Roy Hodgson about taking over as England manager, has been happy with the performance levels.


From Belfast Telegraph