Returning players can get us back on track says Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen is convinced a raft of returning players can help propel Tottenham back up the Premier League table after their recent struggles.

A heavy defeat away to Manchester City last week left Spurs seventh and counting the cost of what has been a bruising start to a season in which aspirations were high for a squad that appeared to have greater depth than those that had competed for the title in recent years.

However a raft of injuries have hit Tottenham hard, with Moussa Dembele, Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Erik Lamela spending much of the season on the sidelines, the latter two having already missed the end of last season.

Centre-back Toby Alderweireld is not expected to return until February whilst Victor Wanyama is only just stepping up his recovery from a knee cartilage problem that has sidelined him since the second week of the season.

With Mauricio Pochettino’s squad numbers starting to swell Vertonghen is optimistic that Spurs can mount a climb up the table even if league leaders Manchester City, 21 points ahead, look out of sight.

“Obviously we lost 4-1 and City played very well but we can – and will – do a lot better in the next couple of games,” Vertonghen told ESPN.

“We’ve got a lot of guys coming back from injuries – there’s still a couple out of course – but I think we’re looking very good at the moment.”

hilst many of their top six rivals spent the week vying for spots in the EFL Cup semi-finals Tottenham were able to recuperate ahead of the inevitably draining festive run of games.

Pochettino has used the time to drill his squad on fundamentals including set pieces and shape but Vertonghen says the Spurs squad have also used the break as a time to reflect on their recent achievements.

“It’s good for us to get together, to know what we’ve achieved in the last couple of seasons,” he added. “We still have the same group and we’re still with each other. I see no reason not to get back on track during Christmas.

“A bit of luck is missing this year, but only Kyle Walker left us from that team [last summer, when he joined Manchester City] and I see no reason we can’t do the same again.”

(Evening Standard)

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