Tottenham must rediscover their killer instinct if they are to succeed, claims defender Jan Vertonghen

Cente-back featured in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace but they were lucky not to concede late on having failed to kill the game off with a second goal

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has admitted the side need to rediscover their killer instinct in front of goal following the narrow 1-0 victory against newly promoted Crystal Palace.

Spurs controlled the majority of the game but were unable to convert their dominance in goals, with new signing Roberto Soldado converting a second-half penalty on his competitive debut to give Andre Villas-Boas’ side a winning start.

However, they wasted a number of chances to kill the game off, with both Jermain Defoe and Gylfi Sigurdsson both wasting good chances in front of goal when one-on-one with the impressive Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

Vertonghen is aware that every point counts this season having been part of the Spurs squad that missed out on Champions League qualification by just one point last season.

"We were very dominant, but we kept them alive and they had a big opportunity in the 89th minute," the Spurs defender said.

"We should have more of a killer instinct. If we did we could have scored two or three more, then we would have been able to relax a bit and make more substitutes.

"We were happy with the win. It would have been a better result if we had got two or three goals more."

Vertonghen’s team-mate Mousa Dembele feels that the squad is in a much better position to challenge for the top this season, with the additions of Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue showing early signs that they are capable of taking the club forward should winger Gareth Bale leave for Real Madrid.

Spurs relied on Bale too often last season, but it is something that Villas-Boas has looked to address with him transfer activity this summer.

"We had quite a good season last year but at the end we didn't make what we aimed for," Dembele said.

"But this year we have learned from this and we can't make the same mistakes again.

"We have the quality (to make the top four). It's going to be very difficult because everyone has spent money, but we have bought some good players too.

"We have also been playing a year longer together. Everyone believes that we can do something this year. We have bought some good players. I can see already that we are playing well, but we can still play much better."

Dembele plays alongside Chadli for club and country with the pair featuring in Belgium’s goalless draw with France last week.

"He is a player who has a bit of everything," Dembele said when speaking about his compatriot.

"He has power, he is quick, he has good technical skills, and he can score goals so I am very pleased that he is now playing for us.

"He is a player who can bring a little bit extra."

Mousa Dembele believes Spurs are in a much stronger position than last season Mousa Dembele believes Spurs are in a much stronger position than last season  

 

Speroni was the Eagles stand-out player on their return to the top flight, with a string of good saves keeping Ian Holloway’s side in with a chance of snatching a point at the death, but despite applying pressure late on to Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, they were unable to beat the Frenchman and leave with a point.

"We can take a lot from the performance. I don't think there was a lot of difference between the two teams," Speroni said.

"We stopped them and they are a top team, so there are plenty of positives to take.

"It's not an easy league, is it? We have to be 100 per cent."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project