Emotional return for Victor, Christian and others react to Saints win
29 December 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Victor Wanyama said he experienced a rollercoaster of emotions upon making a winning return to Southampton as he joined team-mates Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris to reflect on our 4-1 triumph at St Mary’s on Wednesday night.
The Kenyan international midfielder, recruited over the summer after three happy years with the Saints, continued his run of starting every Premier League game since the beginning of the season as we recovered from conceding to Virgil van Dijk inside 85 seconds to power back and win the game.
After seeing Dele head us back level, Victor was denied a goal on his former territory by a last-gasp block from Jose Fonte in the lead-up to half-time.
But in the second period we turned the screw as Harry made it 2-1 and missed a penalty after the dismissal of Nathan Redmond, before late goals from substitute Heung-Min Son and Dele sealed a memorable victory in our first post-Christmas outing.
Here’s what the players had to say afterwards…
On his first return to Southampton and mixed reception from home fans
“It was a bit emotional for me today, it was a little bit difficult but as the game went on I was confident. It’s even more difficult (when receiving a mixed reception) but for me, the fans in the stands don’t get into my head. I am focused on the players on the pitch and on doing my job and today I think we played well as a team. I’m really glad that we came here to a tough place and took maximum points.”
On the setbacks of conceding early and later missing a penalty
“We know what we can do – we always push each other. We knew we had to get back to our game after they scored very early but we kept our cool, moved the ball well, got our goal and from there we took control of the game. We are all strong in the team. If one of us has a chance and misses it, we know we are going to create another one or that we can do better the next time and you could see that with Harry today – he missed the penalty but he kept going and he was hungry for more.”
On next match at Watford
“Now it’s important to keep on doing what we are doing and also to keep going game by game as well. Hopefully it can be the same as today, getting maximum points – that’s our aim. We can recover and be ready for the game.”
On the pattern of the game
“We had to come back on track after the start, we know we are better than that. We started so poorly, they scored after one-and-a-half minutes and it needed some extra work to come back but we had a little bit of luck with all the reflections and at the end of the day, we did well.”
On the excellent performance of our attacking midfielders
“It was very good. Of course Moussa (Sissoko) is new, Dele and me know each other from last season so there’s nothing surprising but everyone really in midfield did well – the holding midfielders forcing the ball in to our feet and making it easier for us, Harry making the runs which makes it even easier, so it’s all the small stuff which is really going in the right direction.”
Outlook at 2-1
“After we missed the penalty they got a bit of confidence. With the three substitutions they did try to get something back, they had a few small chances but not really big ones but again, when the game is that open, they’re going for it and they’re behind, it makes more space for us.”
On the turnaround
“We know it’s a tough place to come and a tough place to deal with and for sure, they will get points against the top teams in this league. The way the game turned for us was fantastic because we rose our levels all together. We could have made the difference earlier in the game but at the end it’s a great result with four goals for the goal difference as well. That’s important too – you never know what will happen. It was a great performance and a great result.”
Was there pressure on us to win?
“Yes, there was and it’s a difficult place to come. Southampton are a great side and they’ve kept a few clean sheets here so to come here and win 4-1 is a great message to send out to everyone.”
On the start to the game
“It was disappointing because we all said that Southampton like to start fast here and they did that. They came out of the blocks and I don’t think we’d touched the ball before we picked it out of the net. That was disappointing but we showed real character, it was a great finish from Dele to get us back in the game and in the second half we really kicked on, got the second goal early and finished the job off.”
On his equaliser
“I got a few headed goals at MK Dons and it’s nice to get another for Tottenham. The start was disappointing with them getting a goal so early but it was important we stuck to the plan and we knew if we did that, the chances would come. We showed we’ve got great character and we’ll look to progress from here.”