Sport Soccer

Monday 21 October 2019

Kieran Trippier keen to finish disappointing season on a high

The England and Spurs right-back has struggled for form in 2018/19.

Kieran Trippier admits he has not been at his best this season (Tim Goode/PA)
Kieran Trippier admits he has not been at his best this season (Tim Goode/PA)

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer

Kieran Trippier admits he could have done a lot better this season but the out-of-sorts World Cup star is determined to end the campaign on a high with England and Tottenham.

Last summer the 28-year-old had the nation dreaming after his stunning free-kick put the Three Lions ahead in July’s Moscow semi-final against Croatia.

English hearts would be broken and Trippier has struggled to replicate the form that saw him mentioned as one of the best players at last summer’s World Cup.

There were even questions over whether the Spurs full-back should be in the squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, with the player himself accepting things have not gone swimmingly this term.

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Kieran Trippier celebrates scoring against Croatia in the World Cup semi-final (Tim Goode/PA)

“I could have done a lot better this season,” Trippier told talkSPORT. “I’ve picked up a lot of injuries.

“Yeah, there’s been games when I’ve looked back and watched and thought ‘I could have done this better, I could have done that better’.

“But it’s all about ifs and buts, it’s all about learning.

“I admit, I could have done a lot better, but I am here now, and I need to try and impress to try and start for England and try and do the best I can with every opportunity I get between now and the end of the season.”

Asked if he could put a finger on why, he said: “No. Obviously I don’t go into a game not willing to do well. I go into every game to try and do my best for my team-mates and the club.

“It’s just one of them things. It just happens. You know when you’ve had a bad game.

“You can always improve, and we’ve got a good manager (Mauricio Pochettino) back at the club.

“He sits us down individually and as a group, shows where you could have done better, and with a good manager like that you can always only learn.”

A lack of post-World Cup rest has been pinpointed as a reason for his slump in form from the outside, but Trippier only agrees with that viewpoint to an extent.

“Obviously it’s a long World Cup getting to the semis and stuff,” he said. “Obviously you do need that break because you look at some players like H [Harry Kane], the lads from City and stuff, I think they could have played 60-odd games.

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino embraces Kieran Trippier (Peter Byrne/PA)

“It comes around the Premier League straightaway, but it’s what we do. It’s our job.

“If we get picked, we all want to play. People can say that’s the reason why but for me personally I don’t think it was. I think it’s just one of those things, you pick up injuries.

“Obviously rest is the most important thing and it would have been nice to get an extra week or something, but the season came around early, so you’ve just got to get on with it.”

Now Trippier is keen to get Euro 2020 qualification off to a positive start against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

The right-back knows he faces stern competition for a place, just as Spurs have a tough few months ahead of them.

“There is me, Trent (Alexander-Arnold), Walks [Kyle Walker],” Trippier said. “You know, you’ve got (Aaron) Wan-Bissaka, who is playing really well for Crystal Palace.

“This is why you need to try and play as many games as you can for your club and perform well because the manager is always watching, or the staff or whoever.

“There’s big games for England coming up and then obviously when we get back to club level a massive six, seven weeks towards the end of the season.

“There’s teams just behind us trying to catch us for the top four. We have just got to do as well as we can. We know how well we can do and hopefully it’ll be a good end to the season for us.”

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