Tottenham don’t rely upon Bale to climb table, says Vertonghen

TOTTENHAM defender Jan Vertonghen is adamant Spurs can succeed without injured winger Gareth Bale.

The Welshman remains sidelined, having limped off during the 3-0 victory at Fulham a fortnight ago with a hamstring injury.

Vertonghen, who scored his first Premier League goal for Tottenham during Sunday’s 1-0 win over Swansea, believes Clint Dempsey has proved an effective replacement during Bale’s absence.

“Maybe we needed a little more width on the pitch but Clint has replaced Gareth very well, like he has done with all the strikers already,” said Vertonghen.

“Of course Gareth is a world class player, but we did well without him. We have a big squad but have had too many injuries. But even without those players we’ve played quite well. When everybody comes back we’ll have a very strong team.”

Spurs climbed to fourth in the Premier League after Sunday’s win and will be relieved to halt a trend of conceding late goals.

Andre Villas-Boas’s side would be top of the league if matches had finished on 80 minutes.

“We’ve conceded too many goals in the last 10 minutes, we know that. We have to keep our focus for 95 minutes,” added Vertonghen. “We talked about not conceding late goals and last week [a late 2-1 loss to Everton] was a perfect example.”