Spurs star reveals what Tottenham must do to reach top four as Everton await
PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:50 07 February 2014
Tottenham must win their home games if they are to finish in the top four, according to defender Jan Vertonghen.
Spurs are sixth in the table, three points behind Liverpool who occupy the final Champions League spot, but their vastly inferior goal difference effectively puts them a point further back.
It is their form at White Hart Lane that has let the Lilywhites down this season, picking up 18 points from an available 36.
In contrast, their away form has been much better and Spurs have picked up six more points on their travels than they have at home, despite failing to extend their winning run at Hull on Saturday.
“[We need to] win more home games I think,” Vertonghen said. “We tried to win [at Hull] and it didn’t work.
“Games like [Everton on Sunday] we have to win if we want to compete for fourth place.”
Everton are a point above Tottenham in fifth place and the Belgian defender admitted he enjoys watching the way Roberto Martinez’s side play.
“They’re a very good team with very good players,” he added.
“They impress me. They have a good manager. They’re a good team to watch.
“I like to watch Everton all the time because they play proper football.”
It had been suggested that the Toffees would struggle after David Moyes left the Goodison Park outfit for Manchester United after 10 years of service there.
But Everton have improved on their showing last year, under the Spaniard’s management, however this was no surprise to Vertonghen who was impressed with Martinez during his time at Wigan.
He said: “We played against Wigan last year and they beat us at home and [we] drew away so we could see the way they play – it’s a good way and it works for Everton.”
Vertonghen returned to the Spurs team in the 1-1 draw at Hull after two months out with an ankle injury.
During that time, Tottenham have had a change at the top with Tim Sherwood taking over from the sacked Andre Villas-Boas.
The 26-year-old paid tribute to the departed Portuguese coach before revealing that the squad have taken to his replacement.
“It’s always sad when you have to change manager,” he added. “Andre did well. He was unlucky at some moments.
“I think Tim is doing very well. He feels the connection with the players and everyone is happy with him.”
The transformation in Tottenham’s play has been noticeable and Hull boss Steve Bruce said after Saturday’s match that “AVB wouldn’t have played like that – [having] two up top.”
Vertonghen paid tribute to the attacking football that Sherwood wants and also revealed that the head coach is slightly more direct.
“It’s difficult to tell,” he explained. “Every manager has his own thing.
“Tim is maybe a little bit more direct. You never know what the best thing is for the team so I think this is working out quite well.”
He added: “He wants to play attacking football and it’s good for the team.”
Having returned from injury, Vertonghen is hoping to improve his game over the coming weeks as he gains match sharpness.
“I’m happy I’m back,” he said. “It took me two months. I hope I can do better and better from next week.”