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Holtby sleepless after mauling

Lewis Holtby reckons last week's 6-0 defeat may end up being one of the best things to happen to Tottenham.

Last Updated: 30/11/13 at 18:32 Post Comment   

Lewis Holtby: Tyring to put a positive spin on last week's hammering

Lewis Holtby: Tyring to put a positive spin on last week's hammering

Andre Villas-Boas was forced to answer questions regarding his position as Spurs boss after his team went down to a humiliating defeat in Manchester last Sunday.

Hugo Lloris' first-minute mistake allowed City to take the lead before Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo helped condemn Tottenham to their heaviest defeat since 1996.

Speculation mounted that Villas-Boas could be on his way out of White Hart Lane, and the Tottenham board made sure the Portuguese was aware of its concerns at a meeting on Monday.

While all this was going on, the Spurs squad gathered and conducted an examination of the performance. Long, and possibly frank, conversations took place in an attempt to move forward, but Holtby still struggled to put the painful memory of that afternoon in Manchester to bed.

The German reckons the defeat may end up being a helpful wake-up call, though, particularly when champions Manchester United are the visitors to north London on Sunday.

"It could end up being a good thing," the Spurs midfielder said.

"I hope it is. I hope we make that bad feeling stop by getting a positive result on Sunday.

"Everyone knows what happened last Sunday so we are trying to go at the other Manchester side with everything we have got."

Spirits were raised slightly on Thursday when Tottenham emerged from their trek to the Arctic Circle with a 2-0 win over Tromso.

The display was not totally convincing, but after last week's hammering, it was the result, and not the quality of the performance, that mattered.

"It's hard to sleep after a game like the City one," Holtby added.

"It's not like we can just move on with it, it's hard - it's not easy for your head.

"You get smashed by the press, people say what is going to happen, and it's not good for the club or the people working behind the scenes.

"You feel disappointed but you have to bounce back. I would say it's better to lose one game 6-0 than six games in a row 1-0. We have a chance to bounce back and if we can get a result there then I think as the table is pretty tight the 6-0 is pretty much forgotten."

Holtby has not been at Tottenham for one year yet, but his English is impeccable and he also has a deep understanding of the passion that comes with the game on these shores.

His father Chris, who was born in England and would regularly talk to Holtby about English football when the young midfielder was growing up in Germany, has to take credit for that.

Holtby sounded like a supporter himself when he said Tottenham had a "'mare" at the Etihad Stadium, and he understands the concern the club's fans will no doubt feel when they file into White Hart Lane on Sunday.

"We owe the fans. I feel sorry for them," he said.

"I know how they feel. We have the chance to make it better on Sunday.

"If we give everything, fight to the last minute we can get the fans back on our side again.

"If the fans see we are fighting, and that we want to produce something, then everything is forgiven."

Having grown up watching German football, Holtby knows United's 5-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen was an impressive achievement.

The former Schalke player insists Sunday's encounter will be a totally different affair, though.

Holtby is adamant that neither he nor any of his team-mates have taken any notice of the speculation surrounding their manager, meanwhile.

"We don't listen to that," the 23-year-old said.

"What happens behind the scenes is not our job. We are responsible for what happens on the pitch.

"We fight together to get results and change it around."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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