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  • By Ben Pearce

Spurs’ Skipp: It was important to get that winning feeling again, we are behind the manager

By Ben Pearce

Oliver Skipp says Tottenham showed signs in Thursday’s 5-1 victory over NS Mura of implementing Nuno Espirito Santo's ideas as they now prepare to host Aston Villa.

The midweek Europa Conference League win was entirely expected given Spurs were hosting a little-known Slovenian side, but Skipp nonetheless saw evidence of progress ahead of Sunday’s more challenging Premier League fixture.

“It was important just to get that feeling of winning again,” said the 21-year-old midfielder. “It was definitely the right step and we showed signs of building on things we have been working on. We know we definitely need to improve again for the weekend.

“As a group we are fully aware that the last few games we haven't been at our best, but we are definitely still behind the manager and trying to implement the stuff we are working on.

“What have I taken from him? First and foremost the trust he has given me to play a lot of minutes so far, but also I feel he is very concise with his instructions on the training field.

“I feel a lot of his work is done on the training field, whereas perhaps other managers may be more video-related.

“I think there’s definitely [things he has] added to my game, for example trying to stay a bit more central. For turnovers when we lose the ball I am the shield for the defence - just little things like that, my positioning.

“We know we weren't at our best in the last few games but we also know at the start of the season there were signs of what we need to do and the work the manager has put in.

“OKay, we had a few bad results, but we have stayed positive and knew that it was a long process and that things were going to take time - and that will come with time.”

Skipp spent last season on loan with Norwich and enjoyed great success, starring in a team that won the Championship with 97 points.

He now finds himself trying to make an impact in a Spurs squad that have lost half of their opening six Premier League matches and find themselves in the bottom half of the table.

But he said: “[That change is] not too difficult. Last year was winning a lot of games but you still have times in the season where you have difficult times.

“The last few games has been a difficult period but I think the group have stayed together and you saw that with the performance [on Thursday]. It’s nice to be back in the team. I have been here all my life.”

Harry Kane’s form is likely to be a key factor in how Spurs perform this season, and the club’s star striker goes into Sunday’s match against Villa on the back of a quickfire hat-trick against NS Mura, having appeared off the bench on the hour-mark and scored three times in 20 minutes.

“Everyone knows what he brings not just to the pitch but the training ground,” said Skipp. “Everyone goes on record to say he is a brilliant trainer and always doing everything he can to get into the best possible condition, and that continues.

“For the young players - you look at someone like Dane [Scarlett] or myself - just to watch and see what he does, to take little things from his game and implement them into your game, can only help the younger players especially.

“All the players know we have a world-class striker so we would be stupid not to use him, but all of us need to step up and help create chances for him or get goals in other ways - maybe set-pieces - so it doesn't just fall on Harry to score all of the goals.

“There are other players capable of doing that. You saw the other night, Gio [Lo Celso] scored a goal and[provided] a couple of assists for him. There are people who have stepped up.”


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