April 23 2014 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Gylfi Sigurdsson says he feels “10 stone lighter” after netting his first Premier League goal for Tottenham against West Ham on Monday night.
And the 23-year-old midfielder believes Spurs’ habit of scoring late goals has given the whole team a boost of confidence as they head into Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal.
Sigurdsson was making his 34th appearance for Andre Villas-Boas’ side when he came off the bench at Upton Park on Monday night, with his only two goals coming against Carlisle and Maribor in the Capital One Cup and Europa League.
However, the Iceland international hit the equaliser 20 minutes after his introduction, and Gareth Bale went on to score a 30-yard winner in injury-time.
“Getting that first goal, I feel 10 stone lighter,” said Sigurdsson. “This is why I came to a club like Tottenham, to play games like this and win games in the last minute.
“I’m enjoying it, even though it has been quite tough - especially with me not scoring in the league. Hopefully this will give me a bit of confidence and a bit of luck and I can keep going.
“It was a massive result for us, especially going above Chelsea. There are quite a few more games to go but it’s very important to get above them.
“We have a hard game to come at the weekend against Arsenal so it was very important for us to get the three points, especially coming from behind as well.
“We’ve have had good momentum lately, especially with scoring so late in Lyon too. It has changed around from earlier in the season when we were conceding late on and losing points. Now we are the ones scoring the late goals so there is a lot of confidence in the team.
“You can’t ask for better preparation for Sunday’s match. It’s one of the biggest games for Tottenham. It’s a London derby and it will be a great atmosphere. Hopefully we can get a win and stay above Chelsea in the league.”
Late goals have been a feature of Spurs’ recent displays. Clint Dempsey hit an injury-time leveller against Manchester United at White Hart Lane and Bale has since scored decisive goals against Norwich, Newcastle and Lyon in the final 15 minutes.
Mousa Dembele won the last-16 Europa League tie against the French side with a 90th-minute strike, and Bale was at it again at West Ham on Monday, taking his tally to eight goals in his last six games for Spurs.
“Is anyone playing better than him at the moment? Probably Cristiano Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi and Gareth are up there,” said Sigurdsson. “They are outstanding players and Gareth showed it again at the end, that he can do something special, and we are all happy for him. We are all happy that he is here at the moment.
“He’s been doing it for many years and you can see he is a special player. With his speed and his left foot you can tell he is a special player and I hope he can continue developing over the next few years and do something amazing
“I think he has a few years to reach his peak. He’s still young. You probably hit your peak when you are 27. Hopefully he can stay injury-free and continue the way he is playing.”
If Bale can perform his heroics against Arsenal on Sunday, it could take the Lilywhites seven points ahead of Arsenal.
“That would be massive for us,” said Sigurdsson. “We want to get into the Champions League. That’s our aim and if we achieve that we want to finish as high as we can.
“The concentration of reaching that Champions League is driving us on. The players and the staff are ambitious. We want to do it for the club because it deserves Champions League football – but anything is possible.
“The league was won in the last minute on the last day. Even if we beat Arsenal it’s not finished, and we have to beat them first to start thinking about that. Let’s concentrate and recover and make sure we are ready for the next game.”
Sigurdsson’s season could have panned out very differently after his former club Reading made a £10million bid for him in January – and the midfielder admits that he would have considered a return to the Madejski Stadium.
“The club [Tottenham] just said no, it didn’t get that far,” he said. “If they would have said something I would have had to think about it and make up my mind, but it never got to that stage.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs