LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur’s Kieran Trippier made himself watch several reruns of Spurs’ 4-1 Premier League defeat to Manchester City in December in a bid to learn from his mistakes and the fullback says the game served as a wake-up call.
Spurs, who face Juventus in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 tonight, were torn to shreds by the league leaders at the Etihad Stadium that day, with Trippier enduring a difficult afternoon against Leroy Sane.
Trippier dropped out of the starting 11 for the next two matches but the 27-year-old has since fought his way back into the side.
“It wasn’t one of the best games I’ve had. But I’ve had a lot of games since then to build my confidence back up,” he said. “I just watched the game back a couple of times and looked at where I went wrong.
“I made quite a few mistakes that day and you can only learn. I’m still quite young so I’m willing to learn from the manager or from players.”
Trippier benefited last season from competition with England teammate Kyle Walker, who joined City at the start of the season, and he is now being pushed by Serge Aurier for the right back spot.
“Walks (Walker) and I had different abilities, and it’s the same with Serge,” Trippier added. “If you’re playing or not playing, you just get on with things. If he plays or I play, like it was when Walks was here, we’re always encouraging each here, we always want to do well. We want to do well as a team and individuals.”
Spurs held Juventus to a 2-2 draw in Italy in the first leg.
Meanwhile, Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele is pleased to be earning praise from his manager but the Belgian says he wants to finish the season on a high and collect silverware.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed Dembele a “genius” and compared his ability with the likes of Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho after his dominant performance secured a 2-2 draw at Juventus in the Champions League last 16 tie.
Ahead of the second leg at Wembley tonight, Dembele, who last won a league title with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar almost 10 years ago, said he would like to finish his career with a few more winners’ medals.
“He (Pochettino) speaks a lot with me and gives me confidence. He’s mentioned these kinds of things to me in the past,” Dembele told British media.
“Obviously he’s been giving me confidence and it’s a good thing, but you always want to win something, so it doesn’t change my role.
“It’s a good feeling. Everybody likes to be appreciated. It’s a good feeling, but there’s so much to play for still.”
Dembele appeared to be limping after being substituted in their 2-0 league victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday but said he was fine.
“I feel good, to be honest. I’ve played a lot of games, and automatically, if I play a lot of games, I feel fitter, much stronger, and good,” he added.
After seeing his team beat Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in Europe this season, the 30-year-old is confident they have enough firepower to cope with the Italian champions.
“The Champions League is a different type of tournament and anything can happen, and obviously we have a lot of confidence, against Juve and Real ... we’re not scared of them. The thing is now we have to keep focused,” Dembele said.