Manchester United v Tottenham: Christian Eriksen admits his happiness with Spurs' attacking philosophy under Tim Sherwood
Spurs used a slow and patient style under Andre Villas-Boas but the Danish midfielder admits he sees no reason why they can't play with an attacking impetus under the new manager
Tuesday 31 December 2013
Christian Eriksen sees no reason why Tottenham should abandon their attacking philosophy when they head to Manchester United on New Year's Day.
Tim Sherwood has put paid to the often slow, turgid days of Andre Villas-Boas by installing a new impetus on attacking football since he became manager.
The move has paid off to a large extent so far. Tottenham's 3-0 win over Stoke took Sherwood's tally to seven points out of a possible nine, but the north London club have not faced a team of United's calibre since the change in manager.
The Red Devils are full of confidence after a six-match winning streak. Their attack will be bolstered by Wayne Rooney, who is expected to return for the game at Old Trafford.
Some have suggested that approaching the game in a more conservative fashion would be a wise move, but Eriksen does not want to see a change.
"I think we should go to United and just play like we did against Stoke," Eriksen said.
"We should just play free. We will still get space and we just have to take our chances.
"Of course United are a better team than Stoke and we have full respect for them, but I think we can get something from the game."
Eriksen missed Tottenham's historic victory at Old Trafford last season as he only joined the club in the summer, but he does know what it feels like to win at United.
The Dane was part of the Ajax team that won 2-1 at United in February 2012.
Although the win was not enough to see Ajax through to the last 16 of the Europa League, it was a significant milestone in Eriksen's career.
The midfielder learned a lot that night - most notably that the way to win at Old Trafford is to take to the field without fear of the occasion.
"If you go there the only thing you should be afraid of is the players. The crowd and everything, just forget them," he said.
"It was a good night for us. We were young players, it was a big stadium to play in but it was a good game.
"We had the feeling that we were not afraid. We just played our own game.
"I think if (Spurs) play our own game we can make every team have a difficult evening."
Fear is something that Sherwood has tried to eradicate since he took Villas-Boas' position in the dugout.
Although doubts remain about Tottenham's defensive vulnerabilities, the fact that Spurs have scored three times on two occasions has, at least, brought back some cheer after what has been a tumultuous couple of months for the club.
"The coach has told us to play more free," Eriksen added.
"We have seen that in the games (Sherwood has taken charge of). He said it looked like we were a little bit afraid (before).
"He said we shouldn't be afraid. He said we should just play and see that we are good. If we dare we have a really good team and really good chances.
"I think what you see now is how we should play."
The 3-0 win against Stoke, which came courtesy of goals from Roberto Soldado, Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon, lifted Spurs to within three points of the top four.
Many have questioned whether Spurs can bridge the gap in the final half of the season, but Eriksen remains confident.
"I'm not afraid of anybody," the 21-year-old said.
"Our rivals have quality but we do as well. I think it is equal."
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