Harry Kane’s hat-trick and Dele Alli’s strike put us into a commanding four-goal first-half lead over the Potters at White Hart Lane.
Joining both scorers to reflect on the game along with defender Kevin Wimmer, who was needed to step in for Toby Alderweireld shortly after the break, Eric was thrilled with the response to Thursday night’s Europa League exit at the hands of KAA Gent, but revealed there was an element of disappointment among the squad that we didn’t add to the scoreline in the second period.
Here’s what the players had to say…
On our control of the game
“Every opponent is different and that was the way this game was and I think we managed it very well. The only disappointment is that we didn’t come out in the second half and get more goals. We went out at half-time with the objective of winning the second half, effectively starting at 0-0 and looking to win again but we didn’t so it’s disappointing that we couldn’t score more goals. Apart from that, everyone can be very pleased.”
On the response to European exit
“It was really good to bounce back after the disappointment of Thursday so everyone is really happy with that. This is where we have to go – we have to keep going this way. It’s really important that we keep our home record the way it is.”
On facing fellow Austrian international Marko Arnautović
“We spoke together before the game and we said it would be nice to play against each other. As a defender, when you’re on the bench, you always have to be ready, of course, but you don’t really expect that you’ll come on, especially when you’re 4-0 up at half-time. Unfortunately Toby got injured – of course, I hope it’s not too bad – and I came on.”
On having to switch on unexpectedly
“It was a little bit of a surprise because it was a couple of minutes after the second half started but I tried to be calm, tried to help the team and the most important thing was that we didn’t concede a goal.”
On getting further game time
“It was a very good feeling to play nearly one half. It’s always a great feeling to play, especially at White Hart Lane in front of our home fans and I enjoyed every minute today. It was great that we won the game, we played very well and for me personally it’s always a very good feeling and makes me very happy.”
On team’s energy after Thursday night
“It was a tough game on Thursday and it took a lot out of the legs going down to 10 men. We worked so hard to try to get back into the game as well, so a lot the players were tired after that. It was important we had two good days of recovery leading up to this game and the lads were great, we came flying out of the blocks again and that just showed how fit and strong the squad is because it was the same team that started on Thursday. That shows where we’re at and hopefully we can continue that from now until the end of the season.”
How did the team prepare?
“Friday wasn’t a great day after a result like that. We did a bit of stretching on the bikes and in the gym as well, a few runs and then into the pool for ice baths and recovery. That was Friday and Saturday was similar, a few more runs and a bit of ball work, all trying to save the legs for today. It obviously worked!”
On his hat-trick
“For the first goal, the ball just rebounded to me and I tried to get a quick shot off and it managed to sneak in. The second goal was one of the best of my career, a strike with the left foot and as a striker, you always want a bit of luck and I got that with the third goal. It was great to finish off with the fourth as well and to see Dele on the scoresheet.”
On the first-half performance
“We’ve been dominant all year at White Hart Lane and we owed it to the fans as well, especially after what happened on Thursday. It was a great performance from all the lads, especially Harry getting another hat-trick. He’s a great striker and when you’ve got a striker like that to score the goals it makes it a lot easier for you.”
On finding openings against Stoke
“From back to front we played really well and we were clinical as well, which is important. We put the chances away and it could have been even more. We all deserved it, it was a great response.”