Sport Soccer

Saturday 22 October 2016

Alderweireld holds his hands up

Published 17/08/2015 | 17:43

Tottenham central defender Toby Alderweireld spent last season on loan at Southampton
Tottenham central defender Toby Alderweireld spent last season on loan at Southampton

Toby Alderweireld has admitted his error in Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Stoke.

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Alderweireld was part of the team which sacrificed a two-goal lead on Saturday, with the Belgian giving away a penalty from which Marko Arnautovic scored the first of Stoke's two goals.

The defender earned his transfer to White Hart Lane last season by consistently impressing while on loan at Southampton, where he often benefited from the presence of Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama.

The Belgian has cited the protection he was given at Southampton, but knows he cannot afford to make mistakes himself.

"At Southampton, Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin put good pressure on so [opponents] didn't have time to put the ball in the box; it makes it easier for defenders," he said.

"You have to play better because if you don't play football any more then they can put more pressure on you, get more guys in the box, and it's very difficult.

"Last season I didn't make one mistake. I want to prove myself here and so it feels bad for me to make a mistake in my first home game.

"I just wanted to catch the ball and if I stood behind him [Stoke's Joselu] he couldn't do anything. It was stupid of me. Maybe if I didn't give the penalty away it's different."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who worked with both Schneiderlin and Wanyama while at Southampton, has experimented with Eric Dier, a natural central defender, as his defensive midfielder this season. He is expected to continue to strengthen before the end of the summer transfer window.

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