Alderweireld explains why win over Chelsea was ‘a big step’ for Spurs


Toby Alderweireld has opened up on the difficulty of playing high-intensity games in quick succession and has admitted that the win against Chelsea on Tuesday was a huge boost for the team’s morale.

Tottenham are in the middle of an unprecedented level of fixture congestion, with the club being involved in three matches this week.

The club had a similar schedule last week but were helped by the fact that their Carabao Cup third round fixture against Leyton Orient was called off last Tuesday, after a spate of positive coronavirus tests at the League Two club.

Tottenham certainly did not show any signs of fatigue on Tuesday when they finished the game strongly and kept their nerve during the penalty shootout to book a place in the quarter final.

Speaking about the win over the Blues, Alderweireld told Football.London: “I think we really worked hard for the result.

“The second half was very good. Of course, we have an unbelievable team but we have a lot of games this week, so we played with another team, but we showed we have a big squad and we had to grind out the result.

“OK we didn’t win the competition but this is a big step. We’ll take it game by game but for the morale it’s very big to win this type of game.”

Tottenham have little time to rest on their laurels as they have another crucial match this evening against Maccabi Haifa, with the winner booking a place in the group stages of the Europa League.

Alderweireld admitted that it was extremely challenging for the players given the lack of recovery time.

He added: “We don’t want to complain but of course it’s not easy to play every 48 hours. It demands a lot from the body, even a little risk, but everyone works so hard for it.

“[Against Chelsea, especially second half we worked so much better, we pressed them and we could have won it. When you get the penalties it’s always a bit lucky and today we were on the good side.

“The only thing that compares is Christmas, when you play on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

“This is very tough and again a little bit risky for injuries. It’s not only tough in your mind but also your muscles.

“You’re playing one of the biggest teams at a Premier League tempo so it demands a lot on the body. We try to get through it in the best way possible.”

Spurs Web Opinion

We have coped admirably with the fixture congestion over the past few weeks, especially given that many players did not have a proper pre-season. If we overcome Maccabi Haifa this evening, we could come through this spell still being in all the competitions. We have fortunately been able to avoid any major injuries so far, with Son’s hamstring problem also reportedly being a minor issue. Hopefully, we finish the week strongly with no additional muscle injuries before the international break.

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