Tottenham’s Vertonghen eyeing FA Cup glory
PUBLISHED: 12:01 20 February 2017
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Club have learned from 2015 Capital One Cup final loss says Belgian
Jan Vertonghen believes Tottenham have matured since they lost the Capital One Cup final to Chelsea two years ago – and he is eyeing another shot at a trophy after the Lilywhites booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Harry Kane scored all three goals as Spurs won 3-0 at Championship side Fulham in the fifth round on Sunday, earning a home tie against League One outfit Millwall in the last eight – and Vertonghen feels the Lilywhites are capable of winning the competition.
“We played a final against Chelsea at Wembley a couple of years ago and we want more of that,” he said.
“I won some silverware at Ajax and it’s the best thing there is in football. I think this team and the technical staff deserve a trophy with this club.
“We’ve improved a lot [since our last final]. It’s only two years, but we’ve got stronger. The gaffer has had time to work with us and we understand the way he wants us to play. We’re a lot stronger than then and we’ve shown that in the last couple of years.
“I think money-wise you can’t compare [with teams like Chelsea and Manchester City] but on the pitch the team is as strong as theirs, definitely.”
While Spurs are taking a break from Premier League action and their quest for Champions League qualification, manager Mauricio Pochettino has selected strong sides in the last two cup matches against Belgium club Gent and Fulham.
“I think the manager understands the importance of the Europa League and the FA Cup as well and it’s good we take it very seriously,” added Vertonghen.
“We want to win both and compete in the league as well, and I think our team is fit enough to cope with these things. I can only talk for myself but I like to play as many games as possible and maybe [it’s the same for] the other guys as well.
“It’s good to rotate a couple of players like [Kyle] Walker and [Eric] Dier this time. Next time maybe it will be two or three others.”
Vertonghen made his return from injury at Fulham at the weekend, having missed six games due to ankle ligament damage.
And Spurs struggled during that spell, only winning twice while suffering back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Gent last week.
“When I got injured we were playing very well,” said Vertonghen. “It was the West Brom game and we had a couple of big results after.
“There were a couple of tough games. With me, without me is the same thing - Sunderland away, Liverpool, Manchester City away are all tough games to play. But I’m happy to be back now and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.
“Playing 90 minutes after five weeks out isn’t tricky but you never know what you’re going to get, so I’m happy.
“I’m used to ankle recoveries now and I worked very hard with the medical staff. All went very well, I didn’t have any setbacks so hopefully it will stay like this until the end of the season.”