Erik Lamela has opened up on his experience of playing a Premier League match behind closed doors for the first time and believes that the players need to change their mindset to be able to perform at their best without supporters in attendance.
Witnessing the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium empty for the clash against Manchester United was certainly a strange site but one that the players will have to get used to.
Lamela played with the same intensity and tenacity that he usually does, as he threw himself into challenges and worked his socks off in the number ten role behind Harry Kane.
Reflecting on his experience of playing in an empty stadium, the midfielder told The Daily Mail: “It was strange to play with no fans.
“Normally we have a full stadium with most of our fans behind us, and it is always special to play at home. But it was different tonight (Friday).
“Without fans it is different. We have to get used to it, have the right mentality to be able to play in this environment, and give our best, even without fans in the stadium.”
West Ham are the next visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a big London derby tomorrow evening and Lamela believes it is a game Spurs have to win as they do not have any margin for error if they want to make top four.
Speaking about the clash against the Hammers, the Spurs star said: “It is another opportunity to win three points and put ourselves in a better position in the table. These are all big games now.
“We will try to win every one of them until the end of the season. We have to take it game by game but that is our plan.”
When asked if Tottenham are hopeful that Manchester City’s UEFA ban will be upheld and a fifth-place finish will be enough to qualify for the Champions League, Lamela responded: “No we have to aim for the top four, and try to win every game. There are plenty of opportunities ahead.”
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The problem we have concerning the top-four race is that there are at least five or six teams pushing for two spots (potentially three depending on Man City’s fate). So we certainly cannot count on all of them to underperform in the final run-in.
That is why, realistically, we need to win at least seven of our remaining eight matches to give ourselves the best shot at finishing in the top four.
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