Voices on the game... Everton
Mon 06 July 2020, 11:46|Tottenham Hotspur
Have a read of what’s being said ahead of tonight’s return to Premier League action against Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (8pm)...
Spurs legend, centre-back during FA Cup and UEFA Cup wins in early 1980s
“It’s a must-win game for us. Everton have come back quite well after the restart, they’ve had some good performances, haven’t let a lot of goals in, been quite organised and disciplined but defensively we’ll want to be better than what we were against Sheffield United. They were three disappointing goals to let in but we can’t use the disallowed goal as an excuse – we’ve got to try to bounce back.
“It’ll be a tight game tonight, Everton will come and be defensively organised but we’ll need to create chances and obviously stop goals going in. If we keep a clean sheet, we’ll win the games. I know it’s an old-fashioned cliché but that’s really how it is.
“Some players have come back looking quite lively and to be fair, Sonny and Harry have been out for a long while on top of the lockdown, so that hasn’t helped our cause. Harry is gradually looking sharper, he’s got two in three games which isn’t bad, but we need a bit more to it. We had a nine-day break which maybe didn’t do us any favours against Sheffield United. It can do you a favour, having a rest, but sometimes it doesn’t and obviously it didn’t help us. We’ve got games in quick succession now, so that might help. I just think we need to perform well which I believe we will and, as I said, the big thing for me is to try to keep a clean sheet. If we do that, we’ll win the game.”
“We’ve got a difficult game coming up against Spurs but we’re looking forward to the challenge. Defensively, we’ve been in very good form. We‘ve conceded just once since coming back after the season was suspended. And the goal Leicester scored was a freak. We felt like we had defended well but the ball just hit him (Kelechi Iheanacho) and went in. Tottenham have some very good attackers, but that’s what you look forward to as a defender, coming up against the best players.”
On Jose Mourinho: “I respect him as a manager and a man. He is a good friend. It will be nice to meet him again and I wish him all the best for the future. I met him in Milan when he was at Inter. I have a bad memory when I was at Chelsea because we went out against Inter in the Champions League. He is a great manager, he reads the game very well. It will be good to see him.
“Spurs are a really dangerous team with fantastic players, we also have to take into consideration Sheffield United (our opponents last time out) are a fantastic team. It will be an exciting game, we need to do the best we can.”
Spurs Head Coach
“Everton are doing well. They have two victories and a draw, so seven points out of three matches. They are now involved in the fight for Europa League positions. They have everything for that. They have the coach, they have the players, so I consider them to be a high-level team and a difficult match for us. We are a talented team, we have our ambitions, I want to say our ambition is to get 18 points. I’m not saying we’re going to reach fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, whatever – I prefer to say the objective is to try to get 18 points and we have to go for it.”
“Everton always do a good job on the pitch, in the way that they play. Of course, we realise that they are a good group of players and so they have the quality to create us and any team that faces them a lot of problems. But we have our way. We have to be a step in front of our opponents and we have to push all together.
“As a player, you have to enjoy everything on the pitch. Sometimes there are not good moments, but you have to enjoy because that is the only way that you can deliver your best on the pitch. I trust my team-mates and when you feel the trust of the group, you can deliver in your job – it is about the collective.”