Robinson backs Smith to pull through

Tottenham’s England goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes his former team-mate Alan Smith will overcome the horrific leg injury he sustained against Liverpool last weekend.

The England international underwent surgery earlier this week to rectify the shattered leg and dislocated ankle he suffered when trying to charge down John Arne Riise’s free-kick during Manchester United’s defeat at Anfield.

The pair played for Leeds between 1997 and 2004 when Robinson joined Spurs and Smith went to Old Trafford.

“My heart went out to Alan and no-one likes to see an injury like that in football, no matter who it is,” said Robinson. “Obviously it hits a bit harder when it is one of your close friends.

“Myself and everyone at Spurs wish him well and as I said straightaway, if anyone can come back from something like that, it’s Alan Smith.

“It wasn’t a bad tackle, just a freak incident, there was no-one even close to him. It just shows you never know what’s around the corner in this game.”

Meanwhile Tottenham’s Finland international Teemu Tainio is finally hoping to be back in action against Blackburn next week.

The all-action midfielder limped off after just 20 minutes of the home league game with Charlton after damaging his ankle and knee in the second minute.

Tainio said: “I’m almost fit now and I hope to be there for the next game. I will start training with the team soon and at last these injuries should be over. The last couple of months have been so frustrating.

“It’s the worst place to be – injured, not in the team and watching the games.

“I so much want to be out there, especially at this stage of the season.

“Hopefully it will be the last time I miss a game through injury this season.

“I will never change my playing style. I just think I’ve been unlucky with injuries and sometimes you just can’t avoid them. I would have to quit football if I was to change my style.”

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