Hutton: Blackburn has become a must-win game for Spurs
ALAN HUTTON admits that Tottenham’s failure to hold onto their lead against Sunderland has already turned Blackburn Rovers’ visit on Saturday into a must-win game.
There is only a third of the season gone, but Spurs’ disappointing 1-1 draw with the Black Cats on Tuesday means the Lilywhites have taken just two points from a possible 12 in the Premier League.
Spurs host Blackburn this Saturday before facing Arsenal and Liverpool in successive league fixtures – and Hutton concedes that a home win over Rovers has now become essential.
“We want to win every game but it will be a massive weekend for us now after the draw with Sunderland. I would say we have to win and we’ve got those big matches coming up,” he told the Journal. “It’s going to be a tough game for us but hopefully we can win on Saturday and build on that.
“I would say every game is a must-win for us. If we want to be challenging for the top four we obviously need to be winning most of our games, so we need to win at the weekend.”
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Hutton admits that Spurs have struggled to cope with the dual demands of the Champions League and Premier League.
And, while the Scot is adamant that it is an honour to be playing in Europe’s elite competition, rather than a handicap, he concedes that a young and relatively inexperienced Spurs squad are learning as they go along.
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“There’s been a lot of hard games recently. We’ve seemed to struggle a little bit so that’s something we have to look at, and try to work even harder to win at the weekends,” he said.
“We would never use the Champions League as an excuse. It’s a great honour to play in the Champions League, we did so well last year to get into it. It’s a great achievement for the boys and you have to do well in your league to get there year after year, like the rest of the big teams.
“We all know you have to do well in the league if you want to get into Europe, and the manager tells us that as well. It is tough playing massive European games and then coming back - obviously we’re finding it hard as well - but it’s about working hard and hopefully we can just build on the European games and get good results in the league.
“I think we can cope with the pressure, we’ve got a great squad at the moment. We’re a young squad and it’s about getting experience as well. This is our first European campaign in the Champions League so it’s new to a lot of us. It’s about dealing with it this year and seeing where we can go.”