Vertonghen on comeback, Winks and Trippier react to Fulham win
20 February 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
There was no keeping the smile from Jan Vertonghen's face after Sunday's FA Cup fifth round win at Fulham.
The Belgian international defender marked his return from a five-week injury lay-off by reprising his centre-half partnership with fellow countryman Toby Alderweireld and helping us keep a clean sheet on the way to a 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage.
Joining hat-trick hero Harry Kane, plus the impressive duo of Harry Winks and Kieran Trippier, to reflect on the game with us, Jan admitted it was the perfect match to come back into – and then tipped midfielder Winks to go on to big things in our colours...
Thoughts on his return to action
"It was a great game to come back for. At the end I was a bit tired but it’s good to be back and get 90 minutes straight away – I didn’t expect that but it felt good."
Views on the match
"We wanted to get back on track and we did well, we created plenty of chances and everyone was at the top of their game. Fulham had a couple of chances before half-time but other than that we had a very good game. The fans were great from the start until the end as well and now we’re in the quarter-finals."
On Harry Winks' performance
"I thought he had a really good game against Gent as well, even though the result wasn’t as good. You can see how he’s improved over the last couple of years – it’s unbelievable. He’s a great player and for me, he can be the next Dele or Harry Kane. There is lots of competition in midfield but he’ll be a very good player for Spurs over the years."
On his own display
"I wouldn't say it was my best game, I'd say it was a big game that we won and needed to win so I'm just happy I was a part of that. It's my job to go in there, get the ball, play, try to break down their play as well and just be involved in everything. I think I was involved a lot today. For the second goal it was a good pass over to Trippier and it was a great ball in and a good goal."
What do you put your progress down to?
"I think it's opportunities and belief. If you get opportunities, you believe in yourself and you go out there and show it then that's it. The most important thing is the manager's trust – he gives me opportunities, he lets me go out there and play and as young player that's all you want really."
On our progress in the FA Cup
"I'd love to win it, it would be absolutely brilliant. It's the most prestigious cup in England and a massive chance for us to get some silverware. You've got to take it game-by-game but let's look at the next round and go from there."
How important was a good start?
"We knew today was a must-win game and we wanted to start bright and sharp, get in their faces and we did that. We regrouped, analysed the game and we knew what we needed to do. We knew it was going to be tough because Fulham are a good side and we needed to start well, get an early goal and keep a clean sheet."
On getting injured in the last round against Wycombe
"It was frustrating because before the game I hadn’t played for a couple of weeks. I’m just delighted to get another 90 minutes under my belt and most importantly, we won and won well. We need to regroup and recover now to face Gent on Thursday because that’s another game we need to win."
On bouncing back following defeat in Belgium on Thursday
"The game against Gent was gone the day after. We knew what we needed to do against Fulham and we know what we need to do now against Gent. We’ll take the confidence from this performance into Thursday night."
On Harry Kane
"What a striker he is! Everyone knows it, he’s full of goals and I couldn’t be happier for him to get another hat-trick today. Long may it continue!"
Reflections on the match
"We needed that win. It’s been a tough week, not the best and we wanted to come here, get the win and progress to the next round. It was a good performance, I thought we were solid all around the pitch and deserved to win."
On our start to the game
"We’ve been starting slowly in the last month or so. We got away with it at City, got punished at Liverpool and punished again at Gent in midweek. We wanted to put that right, get on the front foot, press high and win the ball back. We did that and created plenty of early chances, we should have scored a few more but it was a good win in the end."
On his treble
"The delivery was great for the goals. I know if I make the right movement and Christian Eriksen has the ball wide or Dele has it in the number 10 pocket then they will put the balls through and I have to be there to finish them. Christian provided great deliveries for the first two goals, Dele a great through pass for the third and I was just happy to put them in the back of the net."