Eriksen demands strong finish

Tottenham's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen (left, with Dele Alli) boosted Spurs' top-four ambitions with a late winner against Brighton on Tuesday.
Tottenham's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen (left, with Dele Alli) boosted Spurs' top-four ambitions with a late winner against Brighton on Tuesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Midfielder warns Spurs not to waste chances in bid for top-four spot and European glory

LONDON • Tottenham have rediscovered the winning feeling just as their top-four rivals have faltered and victory against West Ham today would be a huge step towards Champions League qualification.

Mauricio Pochettino's men, in third place, have won three of their past four Premier League games and their tally of 70 points puts them three ahead of Chelsea and four clear of Arsenal.

Manchester United are a further two points adrift in sixth.

Christian Eriksen's late winner against Brighton in midweek was the seventh time they have found a winner in the 80th minute or later this season, showing an impressive never-say-die spirit.

Spurs, who have three league games left to play, lost four out of five Premier League matches before they stopped the rot earlier this month against Crystal Palace in the first game at their new stadium.

"We keep going until the last minute," said midfielder Eriksen.

"We had chances and that was the case in the other games as well, games where we should have scored before instead of making it so exciting and nerve-racking.

"In the end, it's about taking the chances you get... It was patience, building and trying to create something out of nothing. In the end, it was a big win."

Spurs, who host Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, travel to Bournemouth on May 4 and then finish their league campaign at home against Everton on May 12.

"Before the season started, we would have signed up for being in the semi-finals of the Champions League and where we are (in the Premier League)," added Eriksen.

"Of course, we would love to have gone even further in the Premier League as well but, at the end, you need to win the games you can; we've done that in the Champions League and we also need to do that in the Premier League to secure our place in the Champions League again next season."

The win against Brighton was their fourth in a row in their sparkling Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They have scored eight goals at their new home without reply.

Mid-table West Ham, in contrast, have not won any of their past eight league matches on the road, failing to score in six of those.

Spurs are without injured talisman Harry Kane but one player almost certain to feature is Son Heung-min, who is suspended for the European tie and says he is feeling fresh as the season nears its climax.

"If I say I'm tired, maybe other players start thinking the same as me, so if I'm tired, I'll never say I'm tired," said the South Korean.

"I try to keep positive. I feel good, and the most important games are coming up. I'm looking forward to playing with fresh legs."



Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, 7.30pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2019, with the headline 'Eriksen demands strong finish'. Print Edition | Subscribe