Dele and Davies on goals, Sissoko on return and more Newcastle reaction
14 August 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Dele Alli and Ben Davies were pleased with the timing of their goals when we caught up with them after our 2-0 opening-weekend win at Newcastle United on Sunday.
Dele converted a sumptuous pass from the fantastic Christian Eriksen just after the hour mark, with Ben following up with his second Premier League goal for us nine minutes later.
The match also marked a return to St James’ Park for ex-Newcastle man Moussa Sissoko and a senior debut for 20-year-old right-back Kyle Walker-Peters.
Here’s what the lads had to say as they reflected on a good afternoon’s work…
Thoughts on the game
“It was a professional performance. This isn’t an easy place to come and they played well in the first half, they made it difficult for us. Maybe they didn’t create many chances but they were compact and made it hard for us to break them down. We were comfortable in the first half, we dominated possession but they still looked a threat on the counter-attack and the lads at the back did well to cancel that out. We knew coming in at half-time that we were playing well and we just had to wait for the chance to come. It did come and thankfully I put it away.”
On the team’s maturity to keep plugging away
“Sometimes you can get frustrated when you have that much possession and you aren’t one or two up by half-time but it was a professional performance. We had to stick to the game plan and keeping moving the ball, although it was difficult to move it as quickly as we’d like to as the pitch was a little dry. The lads at the back kept their heads, kept moving the ball around and eventually the chance came.”
Any goalscoring targets after getting off the mark?
“I’ll see where I can get myself by the half-way point, see how many goals I can get and then perhaps set myself a target.”
Talk us through your goal…
“It was a bit of a swinger in the end but they all count! It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. That’s what you are told! It’s nice to get in there and if the ball runs your way, if you can get on the end of it, that’s great. In the context of the game it was a nice time to get the second one so quickly because that killed the game.”
On the role of our full-backs after Jonjo Shelvey’s dismissal
“It’s always expected that the full-backs will push on against 10 men and make that extra man count. I thought Kyle was excellent and certainly deserves the plaudits he’s getting, including the Man of the Match award. It’s not an easy place to come and to put in a performance like he did was credit to him and to all the Academy staff who have put everything in place for him to do as well as he did.”
On the memory of our 5-1 defeat last time out at Newcastle
“Everything that happened last time we were here wasn’t ideal and we knew that as much as anyone. We definitely didn’t want anything like that to happen again. They made it tough for us, it’s not an easy place to come, especially when they were putting men behind the ball. They were tough to break down but we kept plugging away. Okay, the sending off probably changed it but you still have to do the job and that’s what we did. It was a good, professional performance and that’s exactly what we needed.”
On returning to Newcastle for the first time as a Spurs player
“For me, it was a pleasure to come back here. I spent two-and-a-half years here, so I have memories of some good moments and some bad moments. I came here with a new team and wanted to win this game. It was the first game of the season, we did well and deserved to win. We’re all happy as we go home with the three points.”
On the crowd’s reaction to seeing him
“I knew that was coming. Football is like that sometimes when you move from one club to another and then come back. That’s football and that’s fine. Personally, it was good for me to come back, to see everyone because I have a lot of friends here but the most important thing was to go back with the three points and we did that.”
On winning his early duels
“I noticed they targeted me from that start and that’s fair enough, I was making my debut. I think I dealt with that quite well, I won my first header and from there, you get a bit of confidence. Once they went down to 10 men we were in full control and I was able to get down the sides and have a few one-on-ones. I put some crosses in and we created a few chances. The main thing is to get off to a good start in the Premier League with three points and a good performance.”
On our fans singing his name
“I didn’t hear it to be honest but a couple of the players were then singing it to me when I came back in! I was really tuned in to the game but for the Spurs fans to do that, it really boosts your confidence. I know they’ll keep supporting us the way they always have done and we’ll try to repay them with good performances.”