A 3-0 defeat in Germany in the first part of our Europa League round of 16 tie last week has left us with a mountain to climb when we reconvene at White Hart Lane.
Midfielder Tom was first to admit that our initial encounter was a frustrating one and he says he’s been putting in the hours on the training ground – as well as in front of his TV set – in a bid to further understand and rectify the problems we faced against the men from Signal Iduna Park.
“It was tough to take last week, everyone was gutted to be fair,” said the 23-year-old midfielder, who played game number 49 of his Spurs career in Dortmund before bringing up his half-century at Villa Park at the weekend.
“We never really got going out there, we won the ball back a few times but we couldn’t string many passes together to be honest so it was very frustrating.
“I’ve watched it back, actually, because I wanted to work out exactly what went wrong and maybe we just needed to get a bit higher up and closer to them on the pitch. It was a strange one because their central midfielders were playing almost like wingers – they were playing high and wide and it was hard to get up the pitch.
“Unfortunately, as we know, it didn’t happen for us on the night and we got punished but hopefully we can put it right on Thursday.
“I think it’ll be a different game at White Hart Lane. Hopefully, with the crowd behind us, we’ll be able to put on a positive display. It would be nice to get an early goal and put a bit of pressure on them so we’ll see what happens.”
As for his milestone match against Villa, where he was introduced as a second-half substitute for Christian Eriksen, Tom said he was delighted to reach the 50 game mark – even if he didn’t realise at the time!
“I wasn’t aware that it was my 50th game at Villa Park but it’s a nice achievement anyway,” he said. “To play 50 matches for a top club like Spurs is many a young kid’s dream so I’m delighted to get there and hopefully there will be many more appearances to come.”