Jan Vertonghen eager to end Tottenham's 23-year wait for victory at Old Trafford


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The Independent Football

Jan Vertonghen insists Tottenham are more than capable of ending their 23-year wait for a victory at Old Trafford.

Having revamped the Manchester United squad with the signings of Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, Sir Alex Ferguson is desperate to win back the Barclays Premier League, and aside from an opening defeat at Everton the club have started the season strongly.

Tottenham's record - they have only taken four points on trips to face the Red Devils since Gary Lineker scored in their last win in 1989 - makes them big underdogs for tomorrow evening's clash, but Vertonghen insists the Londoners can pull off an upset.

Vertonghen knows what it is like to taste victory at Old Trafford having won there last year in the Europa League with Ajax.

And with Spurs now seemingly finding their rhythm under new boss Andre Villas-Boas, the Belgian is hopeful about his team's chances of putting their Old Trafford hoodoo to bed.

"We are strong enough to beat them," Vertonghen said.

"We have a good team, we've won the last two or three games now playing good football and everyone is hopeful of getting a good result at Old Trafford.

"Teams have done well there and that gives us hope.

"When I played against them last year they beat us in the Amsterdam Arena 2-0 and I think they thought they could beat us at 60 per cent.

"It was a good game at Old Trafford. We beat them in the last minute and that showed that with good counter-attacks you can win there."

Although Wednesday's win at npower League One side Carlisle will hardly stand among Villas-Boas' best achievements in management, it did maintain the momentum that the Portuguese has built up in the last two weeks at White Hart Lane.

A rocky first half against QPR aside, Spurs have looked much better under the 34-year-old recently.

The Londoners would have gone into tomorrow's match on the back of a four-match winning streak had they not had two legitimate goals ruled out against Lazio, and three more points at Old Trafford could hoist the team into the top four.

Vertonghen, 25, said: "If we win we can get up towards fourth or fifth place.

"Maybe Chelsea are the strongest team with the biggest squad but look at Arsenal, look at us, everybody can win.

"Look at (Manchester) City, they were beaten by Aston Villa at home this week.

"You have to go for the highest goal and see where it ends."

Vertonghen, signed from Ajax this summer, has quickly become a fans' favourite at the north London club after a series of eye-catching displays.

The Belgium international was a defensive colossus against QPR and has shown his versatility in the last two games by operating effectively at left-back.

He scored his first goal against Carlisle and also helped set up Jermain Defoe for the winner against the Hoops with a surging run from deep inside his own half.

The defender admits that games like the one tomorrow are the reason why he moved to White Hart Lane.

"Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are two of the best strikers in the league and the reason I came to the Premier League was to play against people like them," Vertonghen said.

"I wanted to play against the best players in the world and those are two of them."