Tottenham winger Gareth Bale not irreplaceable says Jan Vertonghen

Tottenham record victory without Welsh winger

Jan Vertonghen believes Tottenham's victory over Swansea proves they can flourish without winger Gareth Bale.

Spurs climbed to fourth in the Barclays Premier League after Vertonghen fired them to a 1-0 triumph with his first goal in the competition at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Bale has been sidelined for two weeks with a hamstring injury and failed to make the squad yesterday and Tottenham are criticised for their lack of penetration in the Wales winger's absence.

But Vertonghen, a £12million summer signing from Ajax, believes Clint Dempsey has proved a capable deputy.

"Maybe we needed a little more width on the pitch but Clint has replaced Gareth very well, like he has done with all the strikers already," he said.

"Of course Gareth is a world class player, but we did well without him.

"We have a big squad but have had too many injuries. But even without those players we've played quite well. When everybody comes back we'll have a very strong team."

Vertonghen insists the victory has set Tottenham up for a Christmas schedule that begins against Stoke at White Hart Lane on Saturday and also includes fixtures against Aston Villa, Sunderland and Reading.

"We needed to win our two matches games, this being the first one. It's important to enter Christmas with a good feeling," the 25-year-old said.

"We did okay against Swansea. We know Swansea are a good passing team but we put them under pressure and created a lot of chances."

Just as pleasing as Spurs' third clean sheet of the season was their refusal to concede the type of late goal that has hamstrung them under manager Andre Villas-Boas.

In their 24 matches this season, they have been breached 13 times in the last 15 minutes and had their matches finished at 80 minutes, they would be top of the table.

"We've conceded too many goals in the last 10 minutes, we know that. We have to keep our focus for 95 minutes," Vertonghen said.

"We talked about not conceding late goals and last week was a perfect example. We concentrated very hard.

"It would have been nice to win 2-0 but we didn't give them many chances."

Six seasons spent at Ajax before joining Tottenham has conditioned Vertonghen to a winter break, but he is happy to change his routine and play over Christmas.

"I love the winter break and it would be welcome because of the amount of games I play," he said.

"But it's tradition and there are amazing atmospheres on Boxing Day and January 1. I love playing football so I don't really care. My family will come over for a few days."

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup saw no shame in the defeat at White Hart Lane.

"On a day when our passing game maybe wasn't at its best, we were really competitive until the last second against a really good team on their ground so I can't complain about the performance - we know we can't win them all," he said.

PA

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'