Vertonghen relieved by victory
The frenetic start to Tottenham's season has already taken its toll on Jan Vertonghen after they came from behind to claim their first home win under Andre Villas-Boas with a 2-1 victory over QPR.
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Typically, the Londoners did it the hard way, scoring two goals in two second-half minutes after the team were lucky to go in just 1-0 down at half-time at White Hart Lane.
Vertonghen, who signed from Ajax this summer, had seen his team concede two late equalisers in their previous two Barclays Premier League home games and was also part of the back four that let in a killer late goal against Newcastle on the opening day of the season.
The Belgium defender was therefore understandably relieved he and his team-mates withstood a late barrage from QPR to see out the game and clinch victory.
He said: "I love it here in England, there's a great ambience at the games, it's just a shame we have to struggle until the last minute.
"At the end of the season I will need a good vacation."
Vertonghen was not the only man who was relieved following the final whistle at White Hart Lane.
Many of the 36,052 away fans inside the north London ground were tearing their hair out and venting their anger at the players during a first half in which Spurs lacked ideas, fluency and penetration.
Indeed had it not been for another brilliant performance from Brad Friedel, QPR could have been 3-0 up at half-time.
A change in formation and personnel, which moved Vertonghen to left back and Gareth Bale up to his regular position on the wing, and a few honest words in the home dressing room turned the game in Spurs' favour, however.
"Everyone was angry at half-time because we didn't think we played that well so there were a couple of words," Vertonghen said.
"We motivated each other and you could see that in the second half because we started so well.
"We changed the system and we did very well. It was a good tactical decision from the manager."
Hearing the home team booed off can often be a source of motivation for the away side, but Vertonghen refused to criticise the Spurs fans for their actions.
"It's frustrating when you can't play your own game so I understand the supporters," he said.
"They were not too happy in the first half. We want to dominate at home and away games so the supporters expect that from us."
With Benoit Assou-Ekotto out for up to a month, and Kyle Naughton struggling with a foot injury, Vertonghen may be asked to fill in at left-back again for Wednesday's Capital One Cup game at Carlisle.
Vertonghen excelled in the position yesterday, providing the driving run which led to Jermain Defoe's winner, and the 25-year-old is happy to play there again if required.
"I have played it in the national team and if I can help the team I will," he said.
"It was nice to get an assist for the second goal.
"On the whole it has been a good week for the club. We deserved to win against Lazio. Everyone is happy now. We have a lot of confidence now for the games that are coming in the next couple of weeks so we have to keep this form up now."
With two straight wins under their belt, Spurs stand two points away from the top four and can go in to this Saturday's clash at Manchester United confident that they can get something from the game, according to Vertonghen.
"I think we are strong enough to do some nice things there," he said.
"I played at Old Trafford with Ajax last year and it's an amazing atmosphere so I am looking forward to my first game there with Tottenham."