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Spurs star: We needed to treat Leeds like Man United

Mousa Dembele jumps with Leeds United's Luke Varney (right) during Spurs' FA Cup defeat at Elland Road Mousa Dembele jumps with Leeds United's Luke Varney (right) during Spurs' FA Cup defeat at Elland Road

Monday, January 28, 2013
11:46 AM

Mousa Dembele says Tottenham have learned a valuable lesson about the importance of motivation and must approach every game like their recent clash with Manchester United.

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Spurs held Sir Alex Ferguson’s Premier League leaders to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane last weekend but were beaten 2-1 by Championship outfit Leeds at Elland Road yesterday.

The Lilywhites’ defeat in Yorskshire cost them their place in the FA Cup, and Dembele feels a mental problem may have been to blame.

“I think it’s the most difficult thing in football – to try to think that you play every game against Man United,” said the Belgian, who came off the bench in the 59th minute against Leeds.

“It’s very easy to motivate yourself to play against Man United and to play well against them. It’s the other teams like this where it is a bit more difficult because you have something to lose and they have everything to win.

“You have to give extra energy to motivate yourself, so maybe that was a bit of the problem.

“It’s difficult to go there and play - they’re very motivated. I think in some moments we did it as well and in some moments it was a bit difficult.

“In the second half we started believing again and we could have equalised, but at the end it was bad luck.

“You can feel that we have a lot of quality in our group and we can win something. You can feel that, so it’s a bit disappointing that this cup is over already for us, but we have another trophy to get so we’ll try to get the other one now.”

Spurs will have to bounce back quickly as they return to Norwich’s Carrow Road – the scene of their Capital One Cup exit – on Wednesday night.

“I think we have to keep looking at everything in a positive way because during the season we’ve played some good games,” said Dembele. “Our position now is good as well.

“We have to keep on thinking like we want to win something and we want to win every game, and if we can do that we can still have a good season.

“We’re disappointed today but we have to forget it and we have to go and think about the game against Norwich, which is very important.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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Tottenham Hotspur

Nickname: The Lilywhites.

Ground: White Hart Lane (capacity 36,310).

Founded: 1882.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1951, 1961

Second Division: 1920, 1950.

Southern League: 1900.

FA Cup: 1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981, 1982, 1991.

League Cup: 1971, 1973, 1999, 2008.

Uefa Cup: 1972, 1984.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1963.

Leading goalscorers: Jimmy Greaves, 379.

Leading appearances: Steve Perryman, 854.