Tottenham will try to beat Manchester City at their own game, insists Harry Winks

Tottenham starlet Harry Winks is full of confidence
Tottenham starlet Harry Winks is full of confidence

Harry Winks says Tottenham will go to Manchester City with a positive approach and aim to beat the runaway leaders at their own game.

Mauricio Pochettino showed his bravery and ambition when Spurs visited Real Madrid in October, picking Fernando Llorente alongside Harry Kane and being rewarded with a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.

Saturday’s trip to the Etihad now looks similar daunting, with Pep Guardiola’s runaway leaders taking 49 points from a possible 51 in the Premier League this term.

But Winks feels Spurs can outplay City’s stars, and is not expecting his manager to adopt a defensive set-up.

“They’re a good side – they’re showing how good they are – but so are we,” said the midfielder. “We went there last year, performed well and got a good draw.

“We’re confident in our ability. We think we can go there and match them. Obviously it’s down to the manager the way we play, but I think we’ll go into the game the way we go into every game – positive, on the front foot, and we’ll try to out-possess them and outplay them.

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“I know it’s going to be tough. They’re a good side and you have to respect them. There’s going to be times in the game when you have to adapt and play a bit differently, but that’s down to the way the manager wants us to play.

“There’s no point in going into a game and not thinking you’re going to win. We’re a positive team, we like to think we’re one of the top teams in the division. We have to go there and try to prove that.

“We know how good we can be, how good we are. It’s a good place to go and set a standard and make a marker and a point. It’s a game we’ll try to do that in.”

City will welcome Tottenham having won their last 15 top-flight fixtures in a row – a Premier League record – and that gives Winks a little extra motivation.

“It’d be nice to go there and get the win, first and foremost to get the three points, but to end their run would be nice as well,” he said. “It’ll be a good incentive to try to get that too.”

City have achieved their record winning run and built up their 11-point lead at the top of the table in some style, averaging more than three goals per game.

And while Winks admits it is disappointing to see the pacesetters so far ahead, given Tottenham have fought for the title in the two previous seasons, he feels it is hard to begrudge Guardiola’s team their success.

“If you’re watching from a neutral’s perspective you can see they’re playing attractive football, doing very well,” he said. “You have to sometimes credit the opposition and say ‘look, they’re a very good side’.

“Of course we want them to drop points because we want to try to win the league. But from a neutral’s perspective, you have to credit the way they’re playing.

“It’s frustrating seeing the points gap between us, but there’s still a lot to play for. It’s a long season and you can never say never. Stranger things have happened in the Premier League, so you never know.”

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Winks had a strange experience earlier this week as he visited No10 Downing Street with Eric Dier for a children’s Christmas party, attended by youngsters who are nominated by schools, local charities and hospitals.

“It was a surreal day,” said the 21-year-old. “I’ve never been invited there before so it was something I couldn’t turn down.

“They wanted some boys from Tottenham to turn up, and me and Eric decided we would like to go. It was a good experience and I really enjoyed it.

“There were a few [Spurs fans] inside No. 10. I can’t say who – I don’t know – but there were a few asking for autographs and photos. I think there was quite a big Spurs following in there.”

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