After cup pain, Spurs must build momentum again in top-four battle

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend scores his side's second goal of the game against Tottenham Hotspur

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend scores his side's second goal of the game against Tottenham Hotspur from the penalty spot during the FA Cup fourth round match at Selhurst Park (pic: Victoria Jones/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

After just about passing Watford test, Newcastle and Leicester will pose equally tough tests for Tottenham

The wounds of recent matches in cup competitions will take time to heal for Tottenham Hotspur and their supporters, but this is no time for moping around.

Mauricio Pochettino has watched his team lose in the semi-finals of the League Cup and in the FA Cup fourth round over the last week.

It has resulted in a dark cloud rising above Spurs again and you can understand why, but there is still plenty to play for this season.

The Lilywhites will entertain Bundesliga pace-setters Borussia Dortmund on February 13 in the Champions League round of 16 first leg at Wembley Stadium.

For Tottenham, this is the next big encounter, but before that will be Premier League tests at home which are crucial.

Spurs just about passed the first when Watford visited on Wednesday night for a fixture where a response was desperately needed.

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A timely boost for Tottenham was the early return of Heung-min Son, who was unable to help South Korea progress to the final of the Asian Cup, and he proved crucial in the 2-1 win over the Hornets.

Last Friday, the Spurs attacker played for his country in their 1-0 quarter-final defeat to Qatar and the loss saw him return to N17 earlier than expected.

He didn’t feature in the FA Cup reverse at Crystal Palace, but will be especially crucial for Tottenham over the next month.

Dele Alli and Harry Kane are continuing their rehabilitation from hamstring and ankle injury problems respectively and so it leaves Spurs short in attack.

Son’s energy and movement will again be important for the visit of Newcastle United on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off).

After hosting the Magpies, the Lilywhites will have a whole week to prepare for a home clash with Leicester City and Tottenham’s form at Wembley is now crucial.

Last season Tottenham were largely excellent in Brent, but lately they have struggled and this must change.

Fernando Llorente’s late goal against Watford helped spare Spurs of more negativity, but equally tough games lie ahead in the shape of Newcastle and Leicester and the Lilywhites have to find a way to start building momentum at ‘home’ again.