Spurs defender Alderweireld: We feel we can beat any team now
Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham feel they can beat any team, and he believes White Hart Lane is becoming a formidable ground for Spurs’ visitors.
But the Belgian feels it is important his team-mates “don’t dream too much”, and is paying little attention to the league table.
Alderweireld scored Spurs’ second goal in Sunday’s 4-1 home win over West Ham, and the Lilywhites have now equalled their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League era.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have not lost any of their last 12 top-flight games, a feat they previously achieved between December 2012 and March 2013.
They are now just two points outside the top four and a mere four points behind leaders Leicester City.
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Alderweireld said: “At home we have to be strong, and teams don’t want to come here any more so that’s nice, and we have to keep it that way.
“At the back we’re very solid. That gives us a good [platform] and up front we can make the difference and that’s a good feeling - that we can beat every team that we want if we are on top, if we work very hard. That’s the most important thing, to work very hard with the team. If anyone makes a mistake the other one picks it up and that’s the mentality we want.
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“We looked before the game and West Ham had been very strong in all their away games. I felt we started strongly, with a lot of energy, and all through the game we put pressure on them, created chances and scored goals - so the only thing that’s maybe bothering our team is that we conceded a goal. For the rest, it was one of the best games of the season.
“Of course we’re very happy with the result, but at the end – especially because we’re defenders – we want to have a clean sheet and unfortunately we didn’t. But otherwise, defensively we were very solid, in midfield we were very strong and up front we made a difference with the quality we have.”
Tottenham have now taken 10 points from a possible 12 in the league, only failing to win when they lost their lead against Arsenal in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates - but Alderweireld is refusing to get carried away.
“We have to see game by game and not dream too much,” he said. “The next game is on Thursday [against FK Qarabag in the Europa League] and then on Sunday it’s Chelsea so it’s a massive game.
“I don’t think you need to think too much about the league table. We stick to our own game and you always want to win a home game. It was a derby as well [against West Ham] so you want to get a good result and, for the rest, we have to look to our game and how we play, and the rest will come.”
Alderweireld admits the last fortnight has been difficult after the terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed the lives of 130 people.
The 26-year-old was part of the Belgium squad that was due to host Spain in Brussels last Tuesday before the game was called off due to security fears – and the Belgian capital is still essentially on lockdown as the authorities attempt to protect the public.
“It’s not as bad as the French people but of course it affects you,” said Alderweireld. “Paris is quite close to Belgium and in Brussels there’s a lot of problems there.
“Of course it affects you and my family is in Antwerp, so not so far from Brussels. My brother is a police officer in Brussels so that’s why it affects you a little. He doesn’t get a free day, he has to work every day. It’s sometimes in different places than he normally works, but otherwise he doesn’t talk about it. He has to do his daily job like the rest of us - only I think the army’s there as well. It’s not a good situation and hopefully it’s quickly over.
“It’s always in the press, everybody talks about it. You have to talk with the group [at Tottenham] about it to give it a place, but for the rest you can’t do anything about it, so hopefully everything will settle down quickly.
“Of course I talk with all the Belgian guys [at the club], and the English guys are hearing about it and reading about it in the press as well. They want to know what’s happening so everybody knows everything.
“I try to focus on football and I hope the good in people comes back up and these things don’t happen any more.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs