Harry Winks happy to be back to full fitness after injury woe and ready to kick on with Tottenham Hotspur
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Spurs youngster played 90 minutes to continue his recovery from ankle ligament damage, while Fernando Llorente reflects on his full debut
Harry Winks says he is finally feeling 100 per cent and is pleased to be putting his injury problems behind him after playing throughout Tuesday’s League Cup victory over Barnsley.
The 21-year-old was stretchered off at Burnley on April 1, having damaged ankle ligaments, and was still feeling soreness earlier this month.
But the midfielder was given his first start of the season against Barnsley at Wembley and was able to finish the match as Dele Alli’s 65th-minute winner ensured a 1-0 victory and passage into the fourth round.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit with my ankle so for me it was a good chance to go out there, put everything to bed and get a good 90 minutes,” said Winks.
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“I feel like I’m 100 per cent now. It was a perfect opportunity to really put everything behind me, just move on and start the season from now.
“It’s difficult when you’re playing at 70 per cent in training and you know you’re really giving it everything you can but there’s a little bit of pain here and there. It’s frustrating but it’s football.
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“Luckily enough I can say, touch wood, that everything’s ok now and it’s really feeling good and I’m feeling confident and strong.
“In the last week and a half, or two weeks, it started to get back to normal and I’m delighted with that, I really am.
“I got pulled out of the England Under-21 squad just to try and get it right. I got some advice from some specialists and since then it’s really started to progress.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up - they come thick and fast - so it’s a good time for me to really start feeling 100 per cent now and start to kick on.”
Tottenham had to work for their victory over Championship outfit Barnsley, and Winks said: “They were a good side, a tough side.
“They pressed us from the beginning, which we were a bit surprised with. But credit to them, they came out and gave us a really tough game.
“Fortunately we’ve got top quality in the team and we know if we keep progressing, keep playing the ball, then we’re going to get a goal.”
Wembley felt rather large on Tuesday night as 23,926 people turned up to watch the match at the 90,000-seat stadium, but Winks said: “I think the fans were excellent.
“It’s just the size of the stadium. It’s difficult to really get that same atmosphere that you get at White Hart Lane or if you have a full stadium here. But the fans are always excellent and for us they were brilliant in getting us over the line.”
Summer signing Fernando Llorente was also named in the starting line-up for the first time this term on Tuesday – and the first time since his move to Tottenham.
The Spanish forward has been recovering from an injury of his own, having broken his arm in the summer, but he also got a chance to build up his fitness after playing for 67 minutes.
“It’s my first game of the season, without a pre-season, and now I have to continue to work a lot,” he said. “I need more time.
“This summer was hard because my arm meant a long stop. I don’t know how long [it will take to reach my best]. With minutes and confidence, I think every match will be better.
“I feel very good in the club, I’m very happy to be here. Only I want to work very hard to achieve my best performance quickly. We know there is not too much time now but I think every day and every match we play better together.
“When you change team the methods are different. We have to adapt to this thing but it’s not a problem. The important thing is to help the team in important moments. I think I have time.”
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