Dembele defiant before derby

Mousa Dembele insists Tottenham have no reason to fear anyone as they prepare to face West Ham on Monday.

Last Updated: 24/02/13 at 13:38 Post Comment

Dembele: Scored vital goal against Lyon on Thursday

Dembele: Scored vital goal against Lyon on Thursday

Mousa Dembele insists Tottenham have no reason to fear anyone as they prepare to face West Ham in Monday's London derby at Upton Park.

The pressure is on Spurs to re-establish their four-point lead over Arsenal ahead of next Sunday's north London derby at White Hart Lane.

Last season Tottenham held a 10-point advantage over the Gunners in February, but they then fell away spectacularly and ended up missing out on Champions League qualification thanks to Chelsea's win in Munich.

Andre Villas-Boas is determined not to let the same thing happen again this term. His team have been the personification of consistency in the league, where they are unbeaten since December 9.

They also go in to Monday's game on the back of a morale-boosting win over Lyon in the Europa League - and the man who secured their progression to the last 16 on Thursday night thinks he and his team-mates are playing at the top of their game right now.

"We don't have to fear any team," said Dembele, who secured a 3-2 aggregate win with a 90th minute equaliser in the Stade de Gerland.

"People have respect for us. If you're in a winning mood it's important in the league.

"We have two more very important games coming up in the league so the confidence will stay high and that's good for us."

Given the gulf in ability between the two sides, West Ham are expected to approach the derby cautiously.

Tottenham have struggled at times to break down teams who shut up shop. They have often had to rely on the brilliance of Gareth Bale to find come away with three points, but Dembele is confident Spurs will be able to overcome their rivals on Monday regardless of the tactics they employ.

"It will be a different game to the Lyon one of course," Dembele said.

"Teams always have a lot of respect for us and they drop back so it's always difficult, but I think we need to do the difference, we have to fight for each other as well. It will be a physical game, for sure, but we are used to it and this is a special match for us and the supporters too because it is a derby."

Spurs put in a poor display in the first half on Thursday night, but regrouped to pepper the Lyon net and finally found the winning goal thanks to Dembele.

Spurs started the season with a worrying tendency to concede late on, but they have reversed that pattern in recent weeks, scoring crucial goals in the dying stages of games against Lyon (twice), Norwich, Manchester United and Newcastle.

Villas-Boas now hopes the result in Lyon, which set up a last-16 tie against Inter Milan, will inspire his team to victory at Upton Park.

"We've been having some great, great results," the 35-year-old said.

"After Europa League games we've always been good in the Premier League. I think it puts us in a good position to face West Ham.

"I don't think it's a distraction, I think it's an inspiration and I hope it can be exactly that against West Ham."

Although Villas-Boas is keen for talk of their glamour tie against Inter not to distract his squad, William Gallas cannot help but think about the meeting with the Italian giants, against whom Spurs played out two memorable games two seasons ago.

"We played a match against Inter at San Siro [in October 2010] which we lost, but it's a place we like a lot because when we played there against AC Milan [in February 2011]," the Spurs defender said.

"That game took us to the Champions League quarter-finals. We know the pitch and the fans well. We're happy to be going there and we'll head out there to get a result."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

F

ergie, aren't you supposed to make a beep beep noise when backing up like that?

simonthfc
Ferguson: Club made Moyes decision

S

ome of these are quality! Why you no like him F365?? :(

left right out
The, Erm, 'Best' Of Henry James Redknapp

W

e're our own worst enemy. We're suicidal in defence, and we may just get slaughtered on Sunday. Other than that, I am very pleased with my team.

bob the manc
Van Gaal: We can catch Chelsea

Footer 365

Champions League: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers rues defensive mistakes in Real Madrid defeat

Brendan Rodgers says he could have asked for no more from his side after seeing them taken apart by Real Madrid.

Champions League: Real Madrid ease past Liverpool with 3-0 win at Anfield

Real Madrid produced a first-half masterclass as they overpowered Liverpool 3-0 in the Champions League at Anfield.

Champions League: Late goals give Arsenal 2-1 victory at Anderlecht

Arsenal scored twice in the final two minutes to come from behind and secure a 2-1 Champions League win at Anderlecht.

Mail Box

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property