Vertonghen urges Spurs to improve form against Stoke after last season’s defeats

Jan Vertonghen has urged Spurs to take Stoke seriously and ensure they are not embarrassed again after last season’s defeats against the Potters.

Mark Hughes’ side did the double over Tottenham in 2014-15, triumphing 2-1 at White Hart Lane in November and running out 3-0 winners at the Britannia Stadium in May after Spurs defender Vlad Chiriches was sent off early in the second half.

Stoke have since signed Dutch international winger Ibrahim Afellay from Barcelona and Inter Milan wide man Xherdan Shaqiri – but Vertonghen is confident the Lilywhites can record their first win of the season in their first home fixture at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

“This week it’s all eyes on Stoke,” he said. “They have a good team, they made some great signings and I think they’re stronger than last year – but I think we are as well so we have to do better than last year.

“A home loss always hurts and the away one was maybe the worst game of last season. They were stronger in every part of the game. I think we’re better now, it was just a very bad game and hopefully we can show the same as we did at Manchester United.

“We showed what we can do. We tried to dominate, we tried to play at Old Trafford and I think we did well.”

Spurs ultimately lost 1-0 against Louis van Gaal’s side on Saturday but they restricted the hosts to very few clear-cut chances.

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That was partly due to the centre-back partnership between Vertonghen and summer signing Toby Alderweireld, with the Belgian duo resuming their pairing after their days at the heart of the Ajax rearguard.

“We always talk, we used to play together,” said Vertonghen. “He’s a great defender and I know how to play with him – but I know how to play with the other guys too.”