December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Lewis Holtby says Tottenham must beat Chelsea in Saturday’s London derby to make up for their defeat against Arsenal and to prove they can overcome the top teams as well as the lesser sides.
Holtby set up three of the Lilywhites’ goals in their 4-0 victory at Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, as Andre Villas-Boas’ outfit secured their eighth victory and their eighth clean sheet from their first nine games in all competitions.
Unfortunately, the one goal that has been conceded this season resulted in the sole defeat against Arsenal in the north London derby.
And, although Spurs have since scored 10 times without reply to beat Norwich, Tromso, Cardiff and Villa, Holtby feels Tottenham have a point to prove when they host Jose Mourinho’s Blues at White Hart Lane this weekend.
“Unfortunately we lost the derby but we’ve done our job in winning against the teams who are beneath us and we have to keep that up – especially against Chelsea in the London derby,” he said.
“It’s very important to win a big game like that to stay up top, to have respect, to have the confidence we need for the rest of the season.
“Do we need to win this game to prove that we can compete with the top teams? Absolutely, especially for ourselves.
“We’re aiming for very high things. We want to be in the top four and play in the Champions League - that’s the main aim and I think we’ve got the squad to do that.
“We’ve got the quality and the depth so it’s a massive game against Chelsea - for the fans as well. We’re playing at home at the Lane and if we win that game we can make it a special weekend.
“It’s going to be a very tough game but I think we’ve got the ability to do something there, and we believe it.”
Having joined Spurs in January to play in the No10 role, Holtby has seen a number of new rivals arrive over the summer – particularly Christian Eriksen.
However, the Germany Under-21 captain is relishing the competition and he believes Tottenham will only be successful if they embrace the strength of their squad and put their individual egos aside.
“Honestly I get along with Christian very well – off the pitch we do a lot of things,” said Holtby. “I wanted to come here, I wanted to have this challenge. I know Tottenham’s going to do something big and I know we’re going to have a really good, strong squad and I wanted to be part of that.
“If you want to win titles you’ve got to be in that squad and I have to show when I get the opportunity that I can produce something, and I think if I keep working hard and if I keep putting pressure on, it’s going to be a very tough decision.
“I could have stayed at Schalke, where I could have played all the time, but I wanted to fulfil my dreams of playing in the Premier League for a top club, and Tottenham’s going places.
“We’ve got so many games. I was just looking at it and in December we’ve got eight games, and then January coming up, and we’ve got a tough November so you have to be prepared, you have to be up for it.
“The best example for me is Bayern Munich. Everyone just did their work, everyone did their job last year and that’s why they won every title - because everyone was patient and everyone worked for the team, and that’s how I see it here. If we keep producing things like we have done over the past couple of weeks we’ve got big things to do.”
Holtby has become an influential figure in recent games, playing a part in six of Spurs’ eight goals against Tromso, Cardiff and Aston Villa.
Indeed, he has delivered the killer final ball for four of those, setting up three of Jermain Defoe’s four strikes in the last eight days and also producing the corner for Paulinho’s effort at Villa Park.
“It’s always good to help the team,” said the German. “I’m enjoying my football, I love playing for this team, this club, and to get three assists against Villa, I’m very happy with that - and of course for Jermain to score two as well. The link-up play works really well.
“We’ll try to keep this momentum up and we’ve got another clean sheet as well.
“All credit to the defence and everyone – the two players in front of the back four, whether it’s Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele or Capoue. Everyone is absolutely fighting for every ball. The confidence is very high at the moment and it’s lovely to have the clean sheet. The dressing room’s buzzing.”
With a place in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup secured, Holtby is adamant that Spurs are in the competition to win it.
“Absolutely - silverware’s silverware,” he said. “There are four cups to play for and we want to win every cup.
“I think if you want to go to the top or if you’re a professional footballer you try to win every game, you try to win every trophy, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“We just have to work like that, as a team, as we’ve done in the last couple of weeks and then we’ve got a big chance of winning something.
“We lost a very strong player [in Gareth Bale] - one of the world’s best - but if you see what kind of players we got in, we signed seven players and they’ve all their qualities of playing a high standard of football.
“You see Paulinho scoring again [against Villa], Nacer [Chadli] coming off the bench and scoring and the people who didn’t play, like Soldado.
“Things don’t happen if you don’t work hard. Talent doesn’t win trophies - it’s team-work, it’s everything that you need as a sportsman, and that’s what we’re aiming for. It’s a long season and we need to win every game.”
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