Tottenham latest, Pochettino backs Vertonghen after criticism, Palace build-up

A selection of the latest stories involving Tottenham Hotspur this Friday evening.

Tottenham Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino has backed Jan Vertonghen after former boss Tim Sherwood criticised the Belgian, saying he is a poor defender. 

Pochettino acknowledges there may have been a dip in form from Vertonghen, but said he was important player for Spurs, and highlighted his qualities from when his first season.

He told reporters: "I think Jan in his first season was maybe the best central defender in England.

"Maybe last season he was not as good but he is still a very important player for us."

Vertonghen himself has given an interview to the Tottenham website, where he said he hopes the side can pick up from they left off at home, with their last game at White Hart Lane resulting in a 2-1 victory over Everton.

Spurs lost 3-0 to Chelsea on Wednesday evening but Vertonghen remained positive, saying: “We need to keep winning our home games and build on what we did against Everton when we play Palace on Saturday.

“We have to show a good mentality and I’m confident we’ll put the Chelsea result behind us.”

Pochettino also gave an update on the fitness of Kyle Walker as he continues to play with the under-21s following his long-term pelvis injury.

The Spurs boss said: “He needs to compete and tomorrow is another opportunity to do that - maybe he’ll play more minutes than he played against Manchester City. He’s going the right way and maybe in the next few weeks he’ll be ready to start to come back with the group.”

Emmanuel Adebayor has been ruled out of this weekend's game against Crystal Palace because of a hamstring and back problem.

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