Tottenham Hotspur centre back Jan Vertonghen praises team effort after Premier League victory at AFC Bournemouth
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The 30-year-old, who has been so consistent this season, hailed Spurs’ mentality at Dean Court after recovering from a poor start to win
Jan Vertonghen says the rest of the Tottenham Hotspur squad need to continue to step up if Harry Kane is set for a long spell out with an ankle injury.
The Belgium, speaking to Sky Sports after Spurs’ 4-1 win at AFC Bournemouth on Sunday, reflected on the club’s top goalscorer picking up a problem, which forced him off in the 34th minute.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team were one goal down at the time, but Dele Alli equalised soon after before a brace from Heung-min Son put the Lilywhites in control.
Serge Aurier added a late fourth with a header, as Tottenham showed they are not the ‘Harry Kane team’ as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola infamously labelled them earlier in the season.
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“We have to wait and everyone knows Harry. He is a great player and if it is a serious injury we will miss him,” Vertonghen told Sky Sports.
“But we showed against Bournemouth with guys like ‘Sonny’, Erik Lamela, Christian (Eriksen) - who I think had an unbelievable game - and so many others I’ve forgotten to mention, they stepped up and that’s what we need to do as a team.”
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Pochettino’s men showed good character at Dean Court with many predicting a hangover after their were knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night by Juventus in the last-16 stage.
Initially it seemed like Tottenham were affected by their midweek loss at Wembley, but they hit back when Alli fired home Aurier’s cross and never looked back.
Vertonghen added: “It was a tough one to take on Wednesday and we spoke a lot about it, but we had a difficult game with Bournemouth coming up, so we knew we had to be strong physically and mentally.
“I think we had a good game. It was a difficult start, they played very positive and offensive, but at one down we had to level it up.”
He continued: “We needed to get our mentality right. We’ve played so many games and obviously Wednesday was very hard and we almost played the same team against Bournemouth.
“We know we are very strong physically, but we had to show it mentally and definitely after being 1-0 down, it was a great effort from the team.”
The victory saw Spurs leapfrog Liverpool into third place and put themselves into a great position with only 10 Premier League fixtures left.