Parker preparing for 'big game'

Parker preparing for 'big game'

Published Jan. 19, 2012 7:15 a.m. ET

The 31-year-old joined Spurs in the summer from relegated West Ham and has quickly become the fulcrum of the side, helping them to third in the Premier League table.

Tottenham's form this campaign has seen them considered potential title challengers, although they lie five points behind leaders Manchester City.

The north Londoners could fall further behind should they lose to Roberto Mancini's side this weekend, but Parker is quietly confident of success.

"Obviously last season [with West Ham] was very disappointing," he told TalkSport. "We were involved in a relegation so it was quite difficult, even though we played some good stuff.


"I was involved in that so it was quite disappointing. But coming to Spurs now and being where we are in the league and doing as well as we are things are very good.

"We all realise at Spurs that this is a tough league, but we have got a good squad and we need to maintain our form to hopefully stay where we are come the end of the season - or in amongst it.

"It is a very big game for us. It's a big game for Manchester City and I suppose in the Premier League every game is big. Sunday is certainly going to be that."

Parker is expected to start at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and insists he is fully fit after recently missing three games with a knee injury.

"Obviously when you are not playing and not out there its quite difficult," he said. "I'm not the greatest of watchers, but I'm pleased to be back and playing and I'm looking to now stay fit and carry on for the rest of the campaign.

"We've got a full week's training ahead of us and touch wood everything is fine."

During the midfielder's absence, much of the talk in football revolved around tackles after a number of high-profile incidents.

The reigning Football Writers' Player of the Year is known for his tough challenges and does not plan on changing anytime soon.

"It's obviously the thing of the moment now isn't it?," Parker added. "What you normally see is that this sort of stuff happens every now and then. Lately its all about the tackle.

"I'm obviously a player that likes to get stuck in. A player that likes to impose myself.

"Obviously the referees have got a very hard job and I totally understand that.

"But its a contact sport and ultimately that's what it is so as long as the reckless tackles are taken out of the game we just need to be sensible."