Tottenham v Norwich City: Spurs back on track, warns Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen says Tottenham have learned lessons from their home defeat to Newcastle United as they prepare for the visit of Norwich City on Saturday.

Spurs threw away a half-time lead to lose 2-1 to Newcastle in their last match at White Hart Lane, before bouncing back with victory at Southampton.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side will maintain their place in the Premier League’s top four with a Boxing Day win over lowly Norwich, and the Argentinian coach can once again call on Ryan Mason after his ankle problem.

However, Spurs will be without Clinton N’Jie for several months after he underwent surgery on a knee problem.

Alex Neil’s Norwich picked up a morale-boosting victory at Manchester United last time out but sit 16th in the table and Vertonghen has called on Spurs to show their ruthless side.

The Belgian defender told the club’s official website: “I’m sure teams don’t look forward to playing at White Hart Lane anyway, but we gave it away too easily against Newcastle.

“In the dressing room afterwards, we knew it was a one-off and that’s what we wanted to show to everyone on the outside as well, it was a one-off.

“We were surprised we lost. It happened but the focus is back and we showed that at Southampton. Now we look to the next game.

“If you win your game you will always make a gap somewhere because the way it’s going, teams will always drop points.

“At the same time, if you can put together a run of wins on the bounce, you can suddenly climb. That’s what you need, a good run.

“We can say we want to get nine points from the next three games but it’s difficult to do that, so we think ‘okay, next it’s Norwich on Saturday, let’s try to win that game first’ and then you think about the one after.”

Four points from meetings with United and Everton have Norwich looking up as they approach the midway point of their first season back in the Premier League, although Andre Wisdom (hamstring) and Matt Jarvis (knee) remain absent.

With rock-bottom Aston Villa and out-of-form Southampton to come over the festive period, Neil is keen for his side to build momentum and pull clear of the bottom three.

“The Man United game won’t mean anything if we don’t kick on and pick up more results,” he said. “The standard in the Premier League is still top quality but there are a lot of teams in transition at the moment.

“Tottenham have a settled squad. If they can keep everybody fit, they’ll be at the top end of the league. Spurs have a good manager who has them well organised but anybody can beat anybody on their day.”


Key Opta stats:

– Spurs have conceded only five goals in their last 10 Premier League games against Norwich
– Norwich have lost just one of their last five Premier League meetings with Spurs
– Only Newcastle (12) have dropped more points from winning positions than Spurs (11) so far this season in the Premier League.
– Harry Kane has scored eight goals in his last eight Premier League games for Spurs
– Spurs have won 17 and lost none of their last 19 Premier League meetings with newly promoted opposition since losing to QPR in April 2012

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