Caulker hoping to earn his Spurs after impressive start to Swansea loan spell
Swansea defender Steven Caulker hopes his impressive form will see him work his way into Harry Redknapp”s plans at parent club Tottenham.
The 19-year-old is halfway through a season-long loan with Brendan Rodgers” side and has proved himself to be an excellent acquisition after turning in some assured displays at the centre of the Swans defence.
While a knee injury has limited his appearances, his commanding presence has been such that in the seven games he has played Swansea have conceded just two goals, in 1-0 defeats at Everton and Arsenal.
Impressing: Swansea have only conceded twice in the seven games Caulker has played
The shut-outs in his five other appearances have helped Swansea to an impressive eight clean sheets in total, and the best defensive home record in the division, a remarkable achievement for a promoted club in their first Barclays Premier League season.
Caulker has also fitted seamlessly into Swansea”s vaunted passing style, and formed a solid centre-half pairing with Wales international Ashley Williams.
The England Under-21 international believes that Swansea”s approach to the game was a big factor in Redknapp allowing him to make the temporary switch to south Wales, and hopes his form will see him feature in the Spurs first team when he returns.
“Swansea”s style was definitely a part of why I am down here,” he said.
“Obviously there are a lot of teams that play direct football, but Swansea mirror Spurs in the sense that they look to pass the ball, so if I can come here and prove myself then in Harry Redknapp”s eyes I could be ready for a place in the Spurs team.
Learning curve: Caulker hopes to earn a place in Tottenham”s first team next season
“I always enjoy getting on the ball, we train and work hard on it every day.
“It”s very different to my last two loan spells (at Yeovil and Bristol City) but at Tottenham we have always been taught to play football so it”s like going back to my roots, I have found it a challenge but the gaffer has shown confidence in me and the team.”
And Caulker readily acknowledges that he has learnt a lot from defensive partner Williams and club captain Garry Monk, who bravely played through injury while Caulker spent almost two months on the sidelines with his knee problem.
“Ash is a fantastic centre-half, as is Garry Monk, when I was out injured I got to watch the games closely and I learned a lot from the pair of them,” he said.
“It”s vital for me to learn at this age and they are doing a great job in teaching me.
Star pupil: Caulker is enjoying playing with Ashley Williams and Garry Monk
“To have eight clean sheets so far is unbelievable. Every defender”s dream is to get a clean sheet at the end of the game so we”ve been doing very well.
“To pick up so many so quickly is great and we want to build on it.
“We”ve come up against some very talented players and some top strikers, so it”s a reflection of how well the team has done.
“We have a very young back four but it”s good for the manager to trust us, I have come in on loan to get games and apart from my injury I have done so it has been a great experience so far.”
Swansea will look to continue an impressive campaign when they host QPR and Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium over the festive period.
Caulker will not be available for the clash with his parent club under the terms of his loan agreement, but is set to continue in the heart of defence when Rangers come calling on Tuesday.
High hopes: Swansea have made a strong start to the season
With Swansea having dropped to 14th in the table after defeat at Everton, and QPR enduring a testing run of poor results, there will be pressure on the hosts to continue their good home record and pick up three valuable points.
But Caulker insists the players are not feeling the pressure of expectation.
He said: “We”ve got two massive games coming up, although obviously I”ll have to sit out the Spurs game.
“The boys are eagerly anticipating every game that”s coming up, it”s a busy schedule.
“There”s pressure to perform for the fans home and away, it comes with every game in the Premier League.
“We are always under pressure but I think we enjoy that. Some of our best performances have come against the biggest sides.
“The Liberty Stadium is a great place to play. The fans are behind the players and are very patient.
“Sometimes it”s a slow build-up with the way we play but they are always very supportive and I”m sure they will get right behind us once again.”