Soldado vows to repay Tottenham fans' faith
Roberto Soldado has admitted that his performances have fallen below "the level that I expect of myself" since his £26m move to Tottenham.
The 28-year-old striker was a key acquisition for Spurs in the £107m flurry of summer spending -- an older, more experienced player among a raft of younger signings -- but he has struggled to be among the goals for his new club.
But the Spain international said that he was not prepared to allow the move to north London to be used as mitigation against his disappointing form.
"Of course it is difficult, but I certainly don't think that a change of country and a new language is any excuse whatsoever for not performing at the level that I expect of myself," Soldado said ahead of the Premier League home match against Liverpool today.
"I think that I've been here for long enough now to have a good understanding with my teammates during a game which is the most important thing and let's hope that from now on you will start to see another Roberto Soldado."
That Roberto Soldado is emerging. There was the fillip of a hat-trick in the Europa League this week against Anzhi Makhachkala with Soldado admitting that it was "a boost for my own confidence too" to score three times -- and for the first time since October.
Soldado now has nine goals in 16 appearances, but five of those have come in two Europa League ties and four of his goals have been penalties.
Previously he scored 59 times in 101 games for Valencia. Soldado and his family are enjoying life in England. But he did reveal that he and his wife, who already have two children, have recently had to deal with the personal tragedy of a miscarriage. It is clearly a subject on which he does not want to dwell.
On his form, Soldado said: "I haven't had a chance to feature in those two games but I think that learning from everything is a way of attracting attention and seeing that you are doing things in the best way possible and respecting and waiting for your opportunity and then doing your talking on the pitch."
A hat-trick helps -- as does the backing of the Spurs' fans. "I haven't been performing how I would have expected, this fan-support has always been unconditional and at least now I can show my gratitude to them with goals, which is what they want to see," Soldado said.
If Spurs win today they will draw level on points with Liverpool, who started the weekend in second place with Andre Villas-Boas claiming that it would put them "back in contention". It would also represent a return four points ahead of this time last year -- when Tottenham finished the campaign with a record 72 points.