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
Monday 19 August 2013
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
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."
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