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'It just hit me'

27 April 2016|Tottenham Hotspur

There was no hiding place for Toby Alderweireld as his emotions ran over on the final whistle of our draw against West Brom.

Crestfallen at the result, the look of devastation on the central defender’s face was there for all to see for the live TV audience and photographers.

Lifted by the response of our fans, the players had given their all but nevertheless, trudged off knowing we’d fallen seven points behind leaders Leicester City over the course of the weekend.

“The world stopped for a minute,” reflected Toby, now with a smile back on his face at Hotspur Way, preparing for our huge game at Chelsea on Monday.

“You want to process it in that minute but you can’t find the answer.

“Everyone was devastated and you could have put a camera on anyone, it would be the same, every player, every member of staff, every fan.

“We deserved the win but sometimes in football, you don’t get what you deserve. It was very painful, especially at home and in the title race.

“If we played badly, you could accept it more, but we had to kill the game.

“It’s always difficult when it’s 1-0. That’s what we said, even at Stoke, we said ‘get the second and third goals’ because there is always a chance, a corner, set-piece, one difficult ball into the box. That’s what happened and it’s so disappointing. At that moment, it just hit me.”

The players' disappointment was tangible but they all commented afterwards on the support of our fans, who dug deep for a big rendition of ‘we love you Tottenham, we do’ as everyone came to terms with the result.

“The fans have been unbelievable this season, even at the start when we weren’t second or third, they have supported us throughout,” said Toby, whose outstanding performances over an ever-present season in the Premier League were rewarded with a place in the PFA's Team of the Year.

“They have seen the work we’ve put in, they know we are a young squad and we give everything. The crowd can feel that and I think they are feeling something special is happening at this club.

“Even when the whistle went against West Brom and it was 1-1, they were still right behind the team and that’s very important for us. That’s why we want to give the fans as much as possible.

“We want to give them the title, okay, now that’s difficult, but if we give them the Champions League next season it’s the right step. We have to finish it off of course and do our jobs but hopefully that’s something to look forward to next season.”