Vertonghen says Tottenham face tough task in trying to overhaul Chelsea

Vertonghen says Tottenham face tough task in trying to overhaul Chelsea

Jan Vertonghen says Tottenham have not given up on catching Premier League leaders Chelsea, but admits it will be a tough ask to overhaul Antonio Conte’s side.

Spurs sit 10 points behind Chelsea in second place and will attempt to make up ground on the Blues following the international break when they begin a run of four matches against teams in the bottom half of the table.

Chelsea face games against the Manchester clubs during the same period, but Vertonghen is remaining realistic about Tottenham’s title prospects.

“We’re trying to catch Chelsea, but it will be very hard,” the Belgium defender said.

“They look very strong at the moment and you have to be realistic. But it could be a good couple of weeks for us.”

Vertonghen has been a linchpin in the centre of defence for Tottenham this season and has won each of the five Premier League matches he has been involved in during 2017.

An ankle injury suffered in a 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in January ruled him out for four matches and, in his absence, Tottenham’s bid for the title suffered.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side won just two matches without him, but the 29-year-old remains modest about his influence.

“I missed a couple of big games, Liverpool and City away, so it’s not fair to say with me it would have been different,” he said.

“I feel very good, especially with the system we play now. We’re in great form and doing well, so good times at the moment for Tottenham.”

Vertonghen is currently preparing for Belgium’s World Cup Qualifier with Greece on Saturday and friendly with Russia on Tuesday.

It means Vertonghen is facing the prospect of playing four matches in 12 days.

“Travel to Russia on Monday, play Tuesday, play Burnley away on Saturday, play Swansea away on Wednesday, tough times,” he said.

“But we are used to it and fit enough to cope with it.”

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