Tottenham captain William Gallas wants north London derby glory against Arsenal

 

Tottenham captain William Gallas has called on his side to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Manchester City by overcoming Arsenal in Saturday's north London derby.

Tottenham looked set to cause an upset at the Etihad Stadium yesterday when Steven Caulker headed them in front, but they once again let a lead slip as Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko gave City a 2-1 win.

Spurs are now seventh in the Barclays Premier League, three points adrift of Everton and West Brom in fourth and fifth respectively.

This weekend's derby against Arsenal, who are one point behind them in eighth, begins a sequence of key fixtures for Spurs which includes games against West Ham, Liverpool and Everton.

And Gallas knows victory against his former club is vital.

"It is the big derby. We need a good result there. We have to do something," he said. "It was a good opportunity to beat Man City. They were not really strong.

"We scored with our first chance and conceded two goals and in the dressing room we were very frustrated about the result.

"We could have got something from the game. We could have played better, we couldn't keep the ball very well and that was maybe the key of the game.

"We were very frustrated because we then had the chance to score the second goal."

Gallas acknowledges the battle for Champions League qualification will be tough this season, with Everton and surprise package West Brom showing the kind of consistency - particularly at home - that Spurs are lacking.

The Frenchman believes Spurs' historic win over Manchester United in September - their first at Old Trafford in 23 years - should serve as a reference point of what the team can achieve.

"If we believe in it maybe we can finish fourth, but there are so many teams who want to finish fourth as well," the 35-year-old said. "All the fans, people who watch football, are very excited to know who will finish fourth.

"After what we did at Manchester United we have to believe we can win anywhere.

"We played very well there, now when we play away we have to be convinced we can do something and come back to London with three points."

The last five encounters between Arsenal and Spurs have yielded 26 goals so Saturday's encounter should be another entertaining affair.

Spurs stormed in to a 2-0 lead at the Emirates Stadium last season before a brilliant fightback allowed Arsenal to claim a 5-2 win.

Villas-Boas, taking charge of his first north London derby, thinks his team will need little motivation to pick themselves up after yesterday's loss.

"The derby is a different proposition," the Portuguese said. "Most of our fans are already buzzing for the Arsenal fixture. It is a totally different game.

"It is a positive for us. It represents so much for north London, for Tottenham and Arsenal. The players are able to get their minds right to want to play that game."

Villas-Boas will hope all his players return from international duty unscathed after his squad was hit by another three injuries.

Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Kyle Walker all suffered hamstring injuries at City.

Villas-Boas, who is expected to give an update on their condition on Thursday, is already without Younes Kaboul, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who all have long-term injuries.

PA

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