Toby Alderweireld believes Tottenham’s emphatic win over Monaco proves they have the depth of squad to handle the chaotic Christmas period.
Mauricio Pochettino made seven changes for Spurs’ final Europa League group game but his fringe players stepped up as they outplayed Monaco in a 4-1 victory.
Erik Lamela grabbed the headlines with a first-half hat-trick but midfielder Tom Carroll capped an assured display with a late goal while 18-year-old Joshua Onomah was particularly lively on his first start for the club.
Tottenham host Newcastle on Sunday, looking to close a three-point gap on the Barclays Premier League’s top four, with Southampton, Norwich and Watford all to come before the end of the month.
“We need our squad,” Alderweireld said.
“We are going to play a lot of games over the Christmas period. If someone gets injured or suspended, we know another guy can take his place. (On Thursday night) they showed they are ready for it.
“I think we made it comfortable. We started very well and the guys who are not playing all the time, they wanted to prove something and I think they did (on Thursday night).
“It is important for the confidence so we can take this result into Sunday. It is nice to be top of the group. We did our job very well in the Europa League up until now.”
Onomah was perhaps the most exciting newcomer on show at White Hart Lane and the attacking midfielder may be given further chances to impress while Mousa Dembele struggles with illness and Nacer Chadli regains sharpness following two months out with injury.
Born and raised in Enfield, Onomah is the latest academy graduate to come through at Spurs, but Alderweireld was not surprised by the youngster’s display.
“We train with him every day,” Alderweireld said.
“He is quite strong, he is quick, he is a good footballer. I think he has a good future.
“He did not look to play safe because he is confident. He shows it every day in training. It was a good opportunity for him to show his quality.”
Alderweireld joined Tottenham for around £11million in the summer and the 26-year-old has been one of the club’s star performers, forming a strong partnership with fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen.
Only Manchester United have a better defensive record than Spurs in the league so far and Chadli, another of Alderweireld’s compatriots, has hailed his team-mate’s contribution.
“Toby is a great guy. I’ve known him now for five years,” Chadli said before Thursday’s win.
“He has always been a good defender. He has had a very good start to the season. It has been very positive how he’s played.
“He has been helped by the team-mates. Everyone is very good with each other and that has helped the guy settle in.
“Toby is quiet but he’s always looking to help his team-mates. Since I’ve known him, he’s always been like this. I think it’s a great signing for us.”