Former Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Chris Perry has told FourFourTwo that he believes an improved understanding between the club’s defenders is at the heart of their recent revival.
Tottenham endured a fair few struggles at the start of Mauricio Pochettino’s debut season, with new signings Federico Fazio and Eric Dier among those who failed to put up a run of consistent outings.
Both have performed well when called upon in recent weeks, however, with the club losing just one of their past 12 Premier League games and set for a Capital One Cup final showdown with London rivals Chelsea this weekend.
With versatile Jan Vertonghen also overcoming a patch of bad form to get back to his best, Perry believes Spurs now have both the quality and depth at the back to keep their push for a top-four place going over the final stretch of the campaign.
“At the start of the season, they were switching their centre-halves about and there wasn't any continuity," Perry said. "Fazio looked to be really struggling with the pace of the Premier League - he looked a little bit slow and a bit pedestrian but he adapted.
"After the first few games he adapted really well and, as a former centre-back, if you can find someone you're comfortable playing with during the game then it really does make a difference.
"I was very impressed this season with the [Jan] Vertonghen-Fazio partnership and Eric Dier over the past few weeks has come in and done fantastically well.
"He did very well early in the season at right-back, but did exceptionally well when he has moved into his preferred position at centre-back.
"He seems to give them a little bit more pace than Fazio and he seems to have a decent partnership with Vertonghen, which I think is important."
Tottenham also travel to Fiorentina this week for the second-leg of their Europa League last-32 tie but, despite the fixture pile up, Perry remains confident that Pochettino’s squad won’t be overstretched for the final months of the season.
"Although there are demands because of the Europa League, I think they've got a slightly bigger squad than [Pochettino's former club] Southampton had and a slightly better one,” Perry added.
“He worked them hard in pre-season and a few of the players weren't too sure about his methods and double sessions but the once that have bought into it are the ones who are playing now and they're starting to see the benefits.”