Toby Alderweireld believes Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to West Ham United is ‘good reality check’
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Belgium defender keen for Spurs to get back on track away to title rivals Manchester United this weekend
Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham were given a stern lesson about the cost of complacency during their second-half capitulation against West Ham last night.
Spurs went into the fourth-round League Cup tie with six wins from their previous seven matches – the other being an impressive 1-1 draw against Real Madrid – and they seemed to be roaring into the quarter-finals as goals from Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli gave them a 2-0 half-time lead.
However, in a classic game of two halves, West Ham struck three times between the 55th and 70th minutes at Wembley, dumping their stunned London rivals out of the competition.
“We weren’t flying or anything in our heads but I think it’s a good reality check, that you still need to work very hard, even if you’re 2-0 up, to get results,” said Alderweireld.
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“We conceded a goal and then the game changed. In that situation we have to do better of course. Everybody’s disappointed but we have to learn from this moment.
“You have to keep the level up because if you drop it a little bit you see what happens. It’s a good thing to learn.
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“We’re disappointed of course with the result. We’re not like ‘oh, it’s only a cup’. No, we wanted to go through and of course we didn’t.
“We’d love to have won but we don’t have to be too dramatic about it. Next time we have to do better, and we focus on Saturday. There’s a big game coming up and we have to focus on this.”
There are just 48 hours until Spurs’ heavyweight Premier League encounter against Manchester United at Old Trafford, and Jose Mourinho’s hosts have had an extra day to prepare.
But Alderweireld said: “Our pre-season was very tough and that’s for one reason: It’s to be ready and have the muscles ready for the big games, for when there’s a big load of it, so I think we’re ready for it and we want to show it on Saturday.
“We’re not able to train much at the moment. It’s all about recovery and being ready for the games. They’re tough games as well.
“You see the Champions League is tough, and we play big fixtures in the Premier League as well – it’s a high standard. But we try to keep up and I think we’re physically ready for this programme.
“Unfortunately it’s a bad result this time but we don’t have to get it in our heads. It’s something good now that we have a game coming up very quickly to change this.”
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