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Michel and Dele on tough Tykes test, debut delight for Juan and Tashan

20 September 2017|Tottenham Hotspur

After playing decisive roles in our Carabao Cup win over Barnsley on Tuesday, Michel Vorm and Dele Alli echoed the sentiments of Mauricio Pochettino by paying tribute to the efforts of the Championship side on the night.

After a first half devoid of chances, goalkeeper Michel – making his first appearance of the season and, remarkably, the first of his career at Wembley – made a crucial save from on-loan Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo 20 seconds after the interval to prevent the visitors from taking the lead before midfielder Dele slid home the only goal of the game on 65 minutes.

Young defender Juan Foyth, signed from Estudiantes over the summer, was eye-catching on his debut while 17-year-old Academy midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe was introduced off the bench late on for his first senior competitive appearance.

All told, we’re through to the fourth round – the draw for which takes place tonight (Wednesday 20 September) – and the players were understandably delighted as they reflected on a tough night’s work. Here’s what they had to say…

Michel Vorm

Thoughts on the game
“It was difficult to be honest, so credit to Barnsley for the way they played. They gave everything for 90-plus minutes, we had more possession but we didn’t create much, especially in the first half. They didn’t create much either but in the first seconds of the second half they had a big chance and after that they didn’t really create much, although they were competitive until the end. We scored at the right time, I think we could have scored more but I think we were a bit unlucky in our finishing today.”

On Barnsley’s attacking corners, where their players huddled together before breaking apart and making different runs
“I’ve seen it before but they knew what they were doing and again, respect to them for the way they approached the game. Some teams come here and just defend the whole game but they really went for it, of course they defended as well and they made it a really tough game but we need to make sure that we create more chances and at least have more shots on target. At the end we had a clean sheet and we won.”


On Juan Foyth’s impressive debut
“He was very calm on the ball. For a young kid, he’s doing very well and I think he showed today already what he is capable of. That is very good and I’m very happy for him. There were some boys like me, Juan, Kyle Walker-Peters, Winksy who haven’t played a lot but we got the opportunity today and I think that’s only good for the team. Winning is always good, it doesn’t matter which team it’s against.”

On finally playing at Wembley after being on the bench for his previous 12 visits with Swansea, Spurs and the Netherlands
“You’re right! I’m happy I played. I’ve played in the best stadiums around the world and this was one on the list that now I can tick off. It’s always nice to play, it doesn’t matter which stadium, but if you can choose one, Wembley is obviously one of the best.”

Dele Alli

Thoughts on the match
“It was a good game to play in and I felt we played well at times, nice combinations, but it was always the last pass or shot that was letting us down. It was great to get on the scoresheet but more importantly, we got the win. People just look at the scoreline, not what went into the game and I feel they (Barnsley) deserve a lot of credit – they worked hard. In the end it was a good goal and I was delighted to score it, we won and we focus on the next game now.”


On Barnsley’s tactics

“It was difficult to break them down and fair play to them, they came here and worked really hard. It was a great occasion for them and they didn’t hide, they came out and had a game plan, it was clear to see that. If we’d got the goal earlier we felt maybe we’d have scored a few more, we broke well at times and there was some good link-up play in the final third, it was just that final pass that let us down.”

Juan Foyth

Feelings on his debut
“It was very nice, I’m very happy to play with all my new team-mates. I’m very happy to make my debut but even happier because we won. Wembley is a beautiful stadium, amazing really, so it’s a dream for me.”

On working alongside Jan Vertonghen
“Jan is a very good player, he helped me a lot and I’m very happy and say thanks to Jan. It was a difficult game, Barnsley closed us down well but we managed to score and got the win. We believed in ourselves and it was great to go through to the next round.”


Tashan Oakley-Boothe

On his senior debut
“It’s a great feeling, it’s what I’ve wished for since I was a little boy and for it to come true is just amazing. Playing in America (in pre-season) helped me a lot so today I was ready to come into the game. As I said, it was what I’ve dreamed about. It’s brilliant, I’m speechless!”

On what comes next
“Hopefully I can stay in and around the squad, look to impress the manager and keep progressing. I need to train hard, keep my head down and keep focussed.”


On who he’s learning from around the first team squad
“Harry Kane. He’s quite a role a model for me with everything he does on and off the pitch. The way he conducts himself, the way he does his own individual stuff, he’s a credit to the club and he’s great to be around.”

Harry Winks

Thoughts on the game
“Barnsley are a good side, pressed us and made it difficult. They gave it a real go. Fortunately, we managed to get the goal I think we deserved on the balance of play and it was a good test for us to come through and progress to the next round.”

On the team’s belief that the goal would come
“You just feel we’ve got players who can change games in a second. They’ve proved it already so many times – Dele, Sonny, Fernando, Harry’s on the bench. We’ve got top players in those attacking positions and it’s usually a case in these games of continuing to play, continuing to try to carve out those chances and eventually the goal will come.”


On the opportunities for Juan, Tashan and Kyle Walker-Peters
“I feel old now! It’s great for Kyle and especially Juan and Tashan making their debuts. It was a good night all-round, a good team performance and for the younger lads to be involved was great.”