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'We needed to fight, to show character' - players react to derby draw

Mon 07 November 2016, 13:15|Tottenham Hotspur

Positivity certainly replaced despondency as the players left Arsenal for all corners of the world and international duty after Sunday's derby draw at the Emirates.

It was doom and gloom after Wednesday night's loss against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League at Wembley but the biggest stage in the Premier League brought the best out of the team in N5.

The players certainly felt we edged an even contest with returning hitman Harry Kane firing home from the penalty spot on 51 minutes to level Kevin Wimmer's own goal just before the break.

We had the best chances to win it at 1-1 as Christian Eriksen was first denied by Petr Cech and then by the woodwork late on. Harry was also blocked at close-range by Nacho Monreal.

Below: Jan battles with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain


Jan Vertonghen

On bouncing back from the Leverkusen result...
"This was the only way to respond after Leverkusen, we showed great character. It was a good, tense game from both sides and we’re back on a positive track."

On the 3-5-2 system...
"The system worked very well, the defence felt very strong and we just needed a bit more luck, but we can be positive today. It’s something to keep in mind. Kevin had a very good game, it’s the first time we’ve played together! We had a bit of a laugh about that."

Below: Victor under pressure from Aaron Ramsey


Victor Wanyama

On the performance...
"We needed to come back strong after Leverkusen, we needed to fight, we needed to show our character and we did that. We were 1-0 down but our goal gave us the belief to go on and try to win the game. I thought we were in control for long periods and deserved to win."

How did it compare to Celtic-Rangers (Victor played for Celtic)?
"Celtic-Rangers is a one-off game really but this derby is good as well. It’s great to play in. I’m just pleased we showed what we can do and we were really strong as a team."

Below: Harry speaks to Spurs TV after his goalscoring return


Harry Kane

How did it feel to be back?
"It's been a long time and it feels great to be out there with the team again. As soon as the penalty was awarded it was a great opportunity to get back to scoring goals. It's a tough place to come and we fought back for a draw. I feel good, my ankle is fine and it's all positive."

Mousa Dembele

Views on the game...
"It was a good point. It was an even game, we worked hard. We had some chances to win it but so did they but overall we’re happy with the performance."

How do you feel?
"I feel good. I’ve had some knocks which have been frustrating but I feel I’m back now."