‘We’re meant to be a team’ – Harry Winks reacts to Nuno splitting squad in half this week

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Harry Winks
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Harry Winks has admitted that the players involved against Vitesse should have given a better account of themselves to make their case to Nuno Espirito Santo.

Nuno made eleven changes to the side that beat Newcastle on Sunday and it certainly told as Spurs looked disjointed throughout the game against Vitesse.

The Dutch side emerged deserving 1-0 winners in the end and the Tottenham players have come in for scathing criticism for their displays, with some pundits questioning their desire.

Winks admitted the players who featured yesterday should have shown the Spurs boss why they deserve to play in the Premier League.

When asked about Nuno’s decision to name a completely different eleven in the league and the Conference League, the midfielder told The Evening Standard: “It is tough.

“We’re meant to be a team. It’s meant to be competition. It’s meant to be competitive. Everybody should be fighting for weekend games and it’s difficult. Motivation should be everybody fighting for the same cause and the same thing.

“But when we go out on that pitch and we’re not playing in the [first] team, we’ve got to put that right, make a point and show the manager we should be playing in the team.

“And when we lose in the way that we did, we don’t do that. It’s down to us but there’s a lot of factors behind that. We’re Tottenham and whoever goes out on the pitch, we should be winning these kind of games. There’s no excuses.”

Winks admitted Vitesse showed much more fight than Tottenham did on the night and fully deserved the three points.

He added: “We didn’t play well enough. They outfought us, they outplayed us. They played a better way, with more creativity.

“In my opinion, they completely dominated us. It’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for Tottenham. We’ve got to come to these places and dominate and win.”

This is certainly not the first time an under-strength Tottenham side were humbled in Europe by relative minnows recently.

Spurs were dumped out of the Europa League in humiliating fashion by Dinamo Zagreb last season and also lost the first leg of their Europa Conference League qualifier against Pacos de Ferreira at the start of this season before overturning the result in the second leg.

When asked why these results were happening, Winks said: “There’s a few different reasons as to why. First of all, as players, we hold our hands up. We weren’t good enough.

“We’re the ones on the pitch, we’re the ones that have to go out there and play. There’s no excuses. But it’s difficult when you don’t play regularly. It’s difficult to come into these games when teams have fans behind them, they’re up for it.

“When you play one game every few weeks, it’s difficult to match that energy, that tempo and their confidence. There’s a lot of different reasons why we weren’t good enough this year and last year in these competitions. Ultimately as players, we’re not performing well enough and we should be.

“We want to win for Tottenham, to win games and pull in the same direction. When you’re not playing regularly, it’s difficult. Difficult to get that confidence as a team. But it’s important everybody knows we are fighting to play for Tottenham.

“The motivation is to get into the team and perform regularly but like I keep saying if we don’t perform when we get chances, it’s down to us.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It is never easy for the players to find rhythm when a team is thrown together like it was for the clash yesterday. I was not surprised that we looked disjointed and got overturned by a well-organised outfit. I do not think it is wise to read too much into yesterday’s performance, either individually or as a collective.

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