Versatile defensive player Eric, once again operating the midfield anchor role in the absence of Victor Wanyama, belted home for 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Saturday, shortly after Dele had curled in a beauty from 25 yards to get us off the mark.
Heung-Min Son then added a brace to complete a resounding 4-0 victory – another good day at the office.
Eric, who bagged his first goal of the season in last weekend’s win at Burnley, was impressed with Dele’s strike, but still couldn’t resist one of his usual playful swipes at his fellow England international! Here’s what the lads had to say to us afterwards…
That’s two goals in two weeks now…
“I know! I would have liked to have scored more goals this season so to get two in three games is very nice and I’m very happy with it. It was great to get the second goal so quickly after we scored the first today and from then on we were quite comfortable and we just needed to keep playing in the same way.”
Has playing in a more advanced role played a part in your goals?
“Maybe. Today it did, being in that position to score that goal, but last week it was just from a set-play which I’m always involved in, so I guess today that did help.”
Sometimes you need a moment of magic like Dele’s goal to get us started…
“Dele? It was lucky, wasn’t it? I wouldn’t call it magic but it was alright! No, seriously, we needed a goal to get us off the mark and to be fair it was a great strike. Dele’s doing really well this season, he’s come on leaps and bounds from the last campaign which is extremely impressive considering the season he had last year so I’m really happy for him to get another goal.”
On the opening stages against Watford
“We didn’t start very well and that was disappointing. We need to start well against these teams and not give them any confidence, nothing they can build on, so we were disappointed that we didn’t start well. I think we were a bit sloppy to begin with but from then on, from when Dele scored onwards, we were very comfortable and we seemed to be enjoying playing.”
On the start to the game
“They were sat quite deep in the first 15 minutes and making it quite difficult for us. We knew it would take a long-distance strike perhaps to make them start to come out so thankfully it went in and after that it was a comfortable win.”
Happy with your goal?
“Yes, definitely. It’s one of the first ones outside the six-yard box, so I’ll take it!”
On the scoring power of the team
“We were very clinical. Sonny was unlucky not to score his hat-trick and when you’ve played like that it gives the team a huge boost. It was a fantastic performance from everyone and I don’t just mean the players on the pitch – the staff and the crowd were fantastic, they drove us on and gave us the confidence and belief that we could go on after the first goal and get more goals. Teams are going to be scared to come here, we’ve been unreal here.”
On our current form
“We’re all enjoying what we’re doing and that’s important. We’ve learned a lot from last season, we know we can’t get drawn too much into things, we just have to keep doing what we’re doing and make sure we win our games. That’s all we can do. We have to do our jobs.”
On Heung-Min Son’s performance
“He’s in great form and when you’ve got a player like that in form, it gives the whole team a boost. It drives us all on. He’ll get a bit of stick about not getting his hat-trick but he scored two fantastic goals so I’m sure he won’t mind too much!”
On finding a way through
“It was difficult. When teams come to the Lane they know how difficult it is to play here and to play against a team like us. They were playing with a back six at times and it was hard to break them down at first, but then we started moving the ball quicker in the central midfield area, got the first goal and then everything just took off from there really.”
On Dele’s goal
“Everybody knows his ability and it was a great finish. After that I thought we moved the ball quicker, the movement was a lot better and obviously we got the other goals.”
You were involved in passing out from the back for the opener…
“Yes, that’s what we do and that’s what the manager wants. Obviously you’ve got to offer support for Hugo or whoever is on the ball. It was a good passing play for Dele’s goal but I thought everyone was outstanding today.”
On the team’s mentality at 3-0 up
“It’s always difficult. When we came in at half-time we said we didn’t want to give them an opportunity to build and get fired up so we wanted to go out firing ourselves, press them straight away and put them on the back foot. We got the fourth goal, obviously we tried to get more as well, Sonny could have had his hat-trick, his first in the Premier League, but we’re all just delighted for the clean sheet and the three points at the end of the day.”
How crucial was Dele’s goal?
“The first goal was important. Before that we had problems, they had some shots, but when Dele scored a lovely goal it was easier for us. We then had space and chances to score.”
What about Kieran Trippier? He supplied another assist for your second goal…
“I’m delighted for him, he’s doing well and he’s a really good player. He has assisted me so many times so I’m thankful! I’m happy because he played well. We’re all happy for him.”
What’s the key to maintaining this level of form?
“We just look forward. We all have quality, mentality and everyone has to show respect for their team-mates – 11 players and the players on the bench as well. Everyone helps each other, we’re all ready for each other and that’s why we’re all confident.”