Walker urges team to go on run
Kyle Walker has challenged Tottenham to prove their top-four credentials over the festive period.
Tottenham suffered their worst defeat in 17 years two weeks ago when they were hammered 6-0 by Manchester City, but morale has been lifted since thanks to a win over Tromso and a creditable 2-2 draw against Manchester United.
Spurs played well for the majority of their stalemate with the champions, but manager Andre Villas-Boas knows he will only give his critics more ammunition if his team fail to beat lowly Fulham on Wednesday.
Villas-Boas spent over £100million on seven new signings in the summer while the club also invested a lot of money on the players who were already on the books at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham recovered from an early wobble to go on a run of one defeat in 17 matches last season, and with the squad they now have at their disposal, Walker thinks they should be able to repeat that kind of streak this year.
"I think we can (go on that kind of run) again. With the players we have got, why not?" the Tottenham right-back said.
"The players in the dressing room know we have to dig deep, show why we are playing for Tottenham, why we are playing for such a big club, a top-four club and prove to the fans and the gaffer and the chairman why they put the faith in us."
While Villas-Boas was busy railing against his critics in the press conference that followed the United game, his players made a point of declaring they were fully behind their manager.
Still, they are not the ones who will decide the manager's future.
The board made it perfectly clear to the Portuguese they were unhappy with the result in Manchester nine days ago.
Mousa Dembele described the performance as a "scandal" while Sandro conceded that he had never felt worse following a defeat.
Walker thinks the defeat at City may have just been the wake-up call that Spurs needed following their slow start to the campaign, though.
"It probably was," the England defender said.
"It has come at the right time. Hopefully it kick starts us and we go to where we want to be."
If current form is anything to go on, Fulham will prove to be the ideal opponents for Tottenham.
The Cottagers have lost their last six games and their last run out was the dismal 3-0 defeat to West Ham which cost Martin Jol his job.
Fulham's players will be out to impress their new manager Rene Meulensteen, however, and Villas-Boas knows it would be foolish to write the west London club off.
"Both teams are looking for a result to bounce back," the Spurs boss said.
"We hope it falls for us and they will be hoping the same. It can launch either team's season."
The fixture has come to soon for Danny Rose, who has missed the last 15 games with a toe injury.
The left-back will return to training later this week, but he may have to wait until the Europa League game against Anzhi Makhachkala on December 12 to make his comeback.
Although Spurs have a packed schedule coming up, Villas-Boas will be loathe to make serious changes to his team for the Fulham game after Sunday's encouraging result.
Still, Villas-Boas admits he is pondering a change in formation from 4-2-3-1 to the 4-4-2 system which some fans yearn for so much.
"We can probably look at it," the former Chelsea boss said.
"It depends. We have been successful in some way with one off the striker but there is a possibility."