How much are you looking forward to playing in Antwerp?
I am really looking forward to it. It is special to play in my hometown. I have never played in Antwerp – I have never played an official game here so it is going to be a special night tomorrow.
What has been the difference this year with the new signings settling in so quickly?
It’s difficult to say but I think we have a wonderful group – good guys – who want the new guys to feel good, to feel welcome and just a good mentality. I think it is easier for these guys to come in and think: Wow, you need to work hard to play and you can be yourself and enjoy your time at Spurs.
Is confidence has high as it has been since Jose Mourinho took over?
Yeah I think it is some sort of momentum. We have to keep going – we can lose it very quick. We have to be ready but I think we are going in the right direction. Especially the Monday night game was not an easy game. You know how difficult it is especially the playing style of Burnley but I think we defended well as a team and it gives us a good feeling to work from there.
Has anything specifically been worked on since the West Ham draw?
Not really. Of course if you concede three goals you think ‘the defence this, the defence that’. I think it’s more than that and more how you manage as a team the last 15 minutes so it won’t happen again. The last game was a good example as we didn’t create that much like against West Ham but I do think we were more solid as a team. That’s the way we have to go from now on. It’s good. I was a little bit lucky as well but it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s all good.
There have been so many goals in the Premier League this season, as a defender is it much harder to defend now because of the new handball rule?
It’s very difficult to say why there has been so many goals. I think it’s just the quality of the attackers, the quality of teams who want to play attacking football. I think that’s a big difference. All the teams can score as they have quality so it’s more difficult. As a defender it’s a challenge to keep them all quiet.
Do you see your career ending up moving closer to home?
I don’t really think about it that much. Of course I miss Belgium and that has been since day one since I left which is almost 17 years ago. I am so happy at Spurs so it’s difficult to see the future and what it’s going to bring. This is not the moment to think or talk about it. It can go both ways but I am so happy at Spurs. It’s difficult to give an answer of what it’s going to be as it’s still a long time. I still have more than two years left [Spurs contract], a long time, and a lot to give to Spurs.
You said when Jose Mourinho was appointed that you could improve under him, do you believe you have over the past 11 months?
Yeah. I feel every manager has their own view on football. I’ve been lucky to work under some unbelievable managers with their own view and own thinking about football and Mourinho is the same. He has a special thing about how he thinks about football and how he wants to play. Of course sometimes you need time to adapt but I think you can see this season we are going in the right direction, not only myself but the team, and we all believe in the way he wants to play. He wants to play attacking football. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but that’s top football and top sports. I know for sure we are going in the right direction.
How frustrating is it to be in your home town and there are people you would like to see but you can’t spend time with them?
I think it’s one of the least problems in the world as I think people have a lot more problems than that. If I’m being a little bit selfish it does hurt that I am playing in my hometown that nobody can come and see. I’ve not seen my family in a very long time and I don’t know when I’ll see them again. It’s a very strange feeling but I think there are bigger problems in the world. Hopefully people can solve those problems so everyone can go back to normal, but until that time we have to accept and to do the best we can.
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