Jan Vertonghen confident ending Tottenham Hotspur’s 10-year trophy drought will lead to more silverware
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Spurs face Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final and their Belgium defender is excited about the prospect of reaching a final
Jan Vertonghen believes one trophy could quickly lead to others if Spurs can overcome Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final and go on to win the competition.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated that winning a domestic cup “will not change the life of Tottenham Hotspur”, arguing that only success in the Premier League and Champions League will take the club forward.
But Vertonghen feels it would be an important moment if the Lilywhites can end their 10-year trophy drought.
The 30-year-old won the Dutch Cup with Ajax in 2010, and then the league title in 2011 and 2012, but he is yet to celebrate silverware during his six seasons with Tottenham.
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“Everyone always says ‘what do you need to win trophies?’. But when I won my first, the next couple followed at a very quick tempo,” said Vertonghen. “You just need that belief you can do it and then they will come. We’re full of confidence that we can.
“Everyone at the club is looking forward to games like this and being in finals. I’ve been here a long time and this is definitely the best team I’ve played in at Tottenham.
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“This team and club deserves a trophy for all the work we’ve put in, and we hope Saturday can be the next step.
“Obviously United are a big team and they’ll do everything to win a trophy this season. I think it’ll be a very nice game to watch, and hopefully we’ll end up with the win.
“Does playing at Wembley give us an advantage? It’s definitely not a disadvantage. We’re used to it now. Just the atmosphere will be a bit different because United will bring more supporters than usual.
“But we feel very comfortable at Wembley. We’ve shown that over the last couple of months - not against Man City, but before that we felt very comfortable.
“We have to approach the game like we do in the league. Games at Wembley, we want to dominate, we want to entertain the crowd, play in a very positive way, and we have to play in a very entertaining way. We have to play like we do in the league.”
Tottenham are aiming to progress further in the FA Cup than last season, when they also reached the semi-finals but lost 4-2 to Chelsea, who scored two decisive goals in the final 15 minutes.
“It was a while ago but we did very well against Chelsea, but conceded at the wrong moments,” said Vertonghen. “They brought on [Diego] Costa and [Eden] Hazard and changed the game.
“Hopefully we can have the same game as at the beginning of this year when we beat United in a very positive way (2-0 in January at Wembley).”
Vertonghen is set to go head to head with his Belgium international team-mate Romelu Lukaku on Saturday, and he knows what he must do to keep the United forward quiet.
“Keep him out of the box,” said the Spurs defender. “Definitely he’s a great striker. I think he’s done very well for United in his first season and we need to keep him away from our box.
“I don’t think we’ll speak in the next few days. They play on Wednesday night and we need to keep in our zones. But we’ll definitely speak on Saturday in a friendly way because we’re good together.”
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