‘We have to work hard and solve this as a team’: Toby Alderweireld urges Tottenham’s forward players to ‘step up’ amid striker crisis
Toby Alderweireld has issued a rallying cry to Tottenham’s forward players, urging them to ‘step up’ and fill the hole left by their striker crisis.
Jose Mourinho is without a recognised senior centre forward after both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were sidelined by serious injuries.
Neither is expected to play much again this season and on Wednesday night Spurs missed their threat as they fell to a 1-0 defeat by RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Toby Alderweireld has issued a rallying cry to Tottenham’s forward players amid injury crisis
Mourinho compared it to going ‘to fight with a gun without bullets’ as he deployed Dele Alli and Lucas Moura furthest forward in north London.
But speaking after the last 16 first leg clash, Alderweireld said: ‘It’s up to other people now to show their qualities up front so I think we created some chances against a very good team and we have to believe that others will step up and make goals.’
The defender added: ‘People have to step up, not just one person. In one game it will be one guy, another game it will be someone else. We must not stare blind on this one result, we created a couple of chances against a very opponent. We have to work hard and solve this as a team.’
Timo Werner (centre) gave RB Leipzig the lead in the 58th minute from the penalty spot
Timo Werner scored the only goal of the night after Ben Davies capped a difficult evening by conceding a second-half penalty.
Spurs mustered a couple of chances of their own but also needed several saves from captain Hugo Lloris to stay in touch.
Their hopes of reaching a second straight European final now hang by a thread but on that run they showed an ability to defy the odds time and again.
Lucas Moura shows his frustration after spurning a golden chance with minutes to spare
‘We proved last season we can score everywhere. Of course we will need some luck, but it’s only the first half, second half to come,’ Alderweireld insisted.
‘We are still in it. Of course we wanted a better result but we know we have the quality to win everywhere we want, everywhere we play.’
He added: ‘This tie is not over. We can win the second game, we can go there and win the game. We must believe that we have the players and the experience to do it.’