Tottenham midfielder Winks: We can still reach Champions League knock-out stage
PUBLISHED: 15:30 07 November 2018
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The Spurs academy graduate impressed during the 2-1 victory over PSV and hailed the effort of the squad
Harry Winks insists Tottenham Hotspur still believe they can make it through to the knock-out phase of the Champions League after the dramatic 2-1 victory at home to PSV on Tuesday night.
Spurs needed a win to realistically keep alive their faint hopes of finishing second in Group B behind Barcelona, but were trailing to Luuk de Jong’s second-minute opener approaching the final quarter of an hour at Wembley Stadium.
Captain for the evening Harry Kane then popped up with a crucial equaliser in the 78th minute before the same man headed home a winner, via two deflections, a minute from time to give the Lilywhites a much-needed three points.
It nicely sets up the meeting between Tottenham and Inter Milan at Wembley on November 28 and Winks has certainly not given up hope Mauricio Pochettino’s men can win their last two group fixtures and qualify for the round of 16.
The 22-year-old said: “We have got to believe otherwise there is no point playing in these games.
“We will have belief until we are told otherwise and go into the next game (against Inter) and try to win.
“Obviously we need a bit of luck to go our way, but as long as we take care of our results, we should be okay.”
It was far from straightforward for Tottenham against the Eredivisie champions as for long periods the hosts simply couldn’t beat away custodian Jeroen Zoet.
The PSV stopper denied Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in the first 45 and Kane, plus Fernando Llorente, after the break.
Eventually the winner arrived and Spurs academy graduate Winks lauded the fighting spirit of the squad on a tough night where the Wembley pitch was not at its best and the travelling support made it feel like an away game for the hosts at times.
He added: “Zoet was excellent and credit to PSV because they defended well and were tough to break down.
“They never really come out and pressed us, but it was a different type of challenge and another test that we had to pass and we did that.
“We had to fight. It was a must-win game for us, so going down so early was always going to be a tough ask for us, but credit to the boys, we showed a different level and I thought we were excellent.”
Spurs only scored twice at Wembley, but should have had three or four goals at least given they had 30 shots.
Despite the missed opportunities, Winks felt it was one of their best performances this season, especially as it was their sixth game since October 20.
The England midfielder said: “It is important to realise we’ve had a lot of matches over the last two weeks, so it was demanding physically, but we were excellent.
“It was probably one of the best games we’ve played this season in terms of our possession and the way we played, so I think we deserved it, but we had to dig in to get the result.”