Alderweireld expects Spurs’ strikers to start scoring soon

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Image: SpursWeb

Toby Alderweireld has backed Tottenham’s goal-getters to improve their form in the coming weeks.

Spurs lost 2-1 to Anderlecht in their Europa League tie in Brussels on Thursday night despite creating a number of clear-cut opportunities.

Christian Eriksen put the visitors ahead inside four minutes but had already missed a great chance, with Erik Lamela and substitute Harry Kane failing to score when played through as goals from Guillaume Gillet and Stefano Okaka turned the game on it’s head.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino was left “angry and frustrated” following the loss and Alderweireld highlighted the profligacy of his colleagues as a major part of their shortcomings.

“I think we started well,” he said.

“We knew we had to start well to be in the game and we did. The only thing we can say about ourselves is that we didn’t score our chances.

“If we made it 2-0 or 3-0 the game is over, they get to 1-1 and get the belief back. But even then we could be in front before half-time.

“The second half was much more difficult – they were defensively much better and unfortunately we lost.”

Spurs have now won just one of their last eight away fixtures in the Europa League and they now sit second in Group J level with Anderlecht on four points, one behind leaders Monaco but only one clear of Qarabag.

It means at the half-way point of the group stage, Tottenham’s pool remains wide open and Alderweireld admits getting through to the knockout rounds early was something the team were keen on achieving to avoid an overload of important fixtures.

“We knew that before so that is why we wanted to win and be more sure,” the Belgium international said of how close the group had now become.

“The group is open now we have to get the three points against Anderlecht at White Hart Lane in a couple of weeks.

“It is one thing about Europe but we are used to it, we want to get through as quickly as possible but if not we will fight until the last day.”

Pochettino takes his side to Bournemouth on Sunday looking to continue their strong Premier League form having not lost since the opening weekend of the season at Manchester United.

Kane may be recalled into the starting line-up having been on the bench in Brussels after suffering a knock in the draw with Liverpool last weekend.

The England striker has scored just once for his club this season and his current plight was highlighted as he passed up two opportunities against Anderlecht – most notably when he could not beat goalkeeper Silvio Proto when in one-on-one with the scores level.

But Alderweireld believes it is just a matter of time before Kane and his fellow attackers start putting their chances away.

“If you get the chances you have to take them,” he added.

“In Europe you don’t get many chances and that is a little thing we are missing at the moment.

“We create chances in every game but our scoring inst at our best level so I think that is something we have to improve.

“It is a matter of form, we have the players who can score goals so it is maybe a little bit down to belief but I think it will come.”

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