Jan seeking upper hand
20 February 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Jan Vertonghen has targeted goals in Ukraine as we prepare for tonight’s Europa League round of 32 first leg against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
With the knockout stage of the competition getting underway, the away goals rule comes into play after two-legged ties if the scores are level.
And while he hopes we won’t need to rely on such a tiebreaker by the time next week’s return match has finished, our Belgian defender believes getting on the scoresheet this evening will be important as we bid to secure our place in the next round.
“We have to score to win these games,” Jan said. “Dnipro won their group and I know a few guys who have played against them, so we know it’s very strong side we’re facing.
“If you look at the Ukrainian league with the likes of Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, they have strong teams. Dnipro are up there as well, so we have to be prepared for a very tough game.
“It’s good that we have home advantage in the second leg but we want to do well in the away game first so we can hopefully finish the job at White Hart Lane next week.”
Jan remains focussed on our continued push for Champions League football on the domestic scene, but he admitted it would mean the world to him to be able to taste Europa League glory this term as well.
And as he continues his resurgent form after his recent return from an ankle injury, the versatile defender insists there’s more to come as we approach the business end of the campaign.
“We’re challenging for a top four place in the league at the moment so that’s important, but the Euorpa League is a nice competition as well.
“We did try to go as far as possible last year and that’s what we want to do this year too.
“I feel OK after my comeback. I still think I can improve on some points, but I hope to achieve that in the upcoming games and training sessions.”