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Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Mido aims high ahead of African Nations Cup trip

Tottenham forward Mido is determined to make his mark on tonight's clash at Manchester City before jetting off to the African Nations Cup.

Mido will return briefly after this weekend's FA Cup third round to face Liverpool before the tournament begins in his native Egypt.

But having scored against Newcastle in the New Year's Eve victory at White Hart Lane, he is looking to improve Spurs' Champions League qualification hopes even further before leaving the club for up to a month.

Mido, who is looking to seal a permanent move to Tottenham, declared: 'It is not easy when you travel a lot but I have no choice, I have to be with my country and it is my duty.

'At the same time, I don't want to leave the team here and I will do everything I can in the games that I can still play.

'But it is a big tournament for us, especially because we failed to qualify for the World Cup. The people there are dreaming of winning the African Nations Cup.

'Egypt are one of the favourites to do it. We have won it before on four occasions and now we are playing at home, I'm sure we will do well again.'

Mido is confident Tottenham can build on the progress made during 2005, having moved ahead of Arsenal and Wigan in the Premiership table to lie in fourth place going into tonight's match against City.

'It was quite a good year for us and, with the way we are working, I am sure we will now enjoy a better year,' he told the club's website.

'Against Newcastle, we all played really well, fought for each other and if we do that, we will win games. It's not just about quality, teams can show a lot of quality but not win because they don't have enough spirit.

'But we have a good quality, enough spirit and this is what will serve us well.'

Spurs boss Martin Jol, who switched around his strikeforce to keep his forwards fresh over the Christmas period, must decide whether to retain Mido and Robbie Keane up front against City.

However, he will again be without captain Ledley King, who is set to be missing for another fortnight with a groin injury, and winger Andy Reid, who is sidelined with knee ligament damage.

Anthony Gardner will continue to deputise for King in central defence alongside Michael Dawson, while Keane or Paul Robinson will captain the side in the absence of the England international.

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