It’s vital that Spurs are beating rivals like Everton now, says Vertonghen

12:30 10 February 2014

Jan Vertonghen (right) in action against his countryman Kevin Mirallas of Everton

Jan Vertonghen (right) in action against his countryman Kevin Mirallas of Everton

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Jan Vertonghen says it is important that Tottenham are now beating their rivals for the Champions League spots, and he feels there is plenty more to come from the Lilywhites.

Spurs collected just three points from a possible 21 against the sides who sat in the top eight when Andre Villas-Boas departed.

And, although they recently lost to Manchester City for the second time this season, Tim Sherwood has also led his side to victories over Manchester United and Everton.

Yesterday’s 1-0 home win over Roberto Martinez’s Toffees took Tottenham above the Merseysiders into fifth place, and Vertonghen believes it was a crucial result.

“That was the main reason why we couldn’t compete for the first three places, because we lost our big games,” said the defender.

“We’ve lost against City twice, Liverpool… This is a good win for us. Everton are a very good team and it’s an unbelievable result for us.

“We want to start better. Everton were the better team in first half, but we bounced back in the second half.

“They were sharper in one way or another. It was the same at Hull, and I can’t really judge the games before because I didn’t play.

“We can do way better than we did yesterday. The second half was good and I think our mentality is great, but our game needs to be better.

“We play on Wednesday [against Newcastle] but in the next couple of weeks we’ve got the time to train and that’s the most important thing. We need to work on our shape and our movement and the sharpness will be there.”

Vertonghen has recently returned from an ankle injury which ruled him out for 12 games. He was side-lined during a frustrating spell at left-back under Villas-Boas – a position he does not enjoy – but he has come back into the team in his favoured role at centre-back.

“I’m very happy,” said the Belgian. “Tim uses me as a centre-back. He believes in me in that position, he says that and I feel the confidence as well.

“Especially when you’re coming back from injury, you don’t want to play out of position. If you come back and you’re a little bit insecure you want to play in your best position and that’s what he’s done.

“It’s been a strange season because it’s been my first time injured, then the manager left and I wasn’t fit while Tim was coming in.

“I talked with him a couple of times before and that was good. He knows me and he knows the club, he knows me as a player and he knows what I can do but still you want to show it in training. I came back and I was fit and he played me - I think that shows the confidence.”

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots was at White Hart Lane to see Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Everton’s Kevin Mirallas ahead of the World Cup in the summer.

And Vertonghen said: “I’m happy he saw me play as a centre-back. With Belgium I play as a left-back so I’m happy he saw me playing here now.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs


Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 14:34

Spurs played out their second goalless draw in the space of five days after a 0-0 tie against Bournemouth on the south coast. Here are five talking points.

Fri, 16:00

Spencer McCall is immediately targeting a new objective – avenging Hendon’s opening day defeat to Worthing – after their FA Cup dreams evaporated at Boreham Wood.

Fri, 07:00

Hampstead & Westminster captain Toby Roche has set his side the target of joining club hockey’s European elite after emerging as the league’s surprise package this season.

Thu, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says he is happy with Dele Alli’s goal return and insists the midfielder should not be expected to score as regularly as a striker.

Thu, 14:16

Mauricio Pochettino feels summer signing Vincent Janssen might be putting too much pressure on himself as he bids to end his dry run in front of goal, and the Tottenham manager says the Dutchman simply needs some encouragement and patience.

Thu, 12:00

A fixture between Toulon and Saracens is always billed as a blockbuster – and Saturday’s pool three Champions Cup opener certainly lived up to the pre-game excitement.

Wed, 21:51

Arsenal’s first match against Bulgarian opposition was a successful one, as Arsene Wenger’s men ran out comfortable 6-0 winners on matchday three of the Uefa Champions League group stage.

Wed, 17:00

Hendon boss Gary McCann admits he is “embarrassed” by Hendon’s lowly league placing – but he expects it to change as players return from injury and suspension.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now