January 26, 2018 / 5:58 AM / 25 days ago

Vertonghen backs Tottenham to take Newport in their stride

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen says the London club learned a valuable lesson from a 2-1 defeat at Leeds United in the FA Cup five years ago and they will take nothing for granted when they face League Two side Newport County on Saturday.

“It was a while ago ... a tough experience,” Vertonghen, who made his FA Cup debut in the 2013 defeat, told the club’s website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com).

”Away games are always tough in the FA Cup, everyone is up for it, especially against a Premier League team and we suffered that day.

”The smaller teams have always got their own crowd behind them and they’re always extra motivated, but we’re used to away games and we have to cope with it. We have to be professional.

”We’ve been working on that,“ Vertonghen added. ”I think this team has great focus, we know what we want and I‘m very proud of that.

“We’ve got a professional team that will approach this game against Newport in a very good way. We just have to approach it in the way we approach Premier League games, which we will.”

Tottenham and fourth-tier Newport will face each other for the first time since consecutive FA Cup meetings in 1959 and 1960, with Spurs winning both games.

Newport are eighth in League Two while Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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