Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld is relishing his side’s upcoming north London derby against Arsenal despite the pressure of ‘having to win’.
The Belgian centre back made his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Newport County in the FA Cup on Wednesday night.
Alderweireld has been out of action since early November after suffering a hamstring tear against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
But the 28-year-old is ready to put his injury woes behind him as his side prepare for another encounter against their fierce rivals.
“It’s a massive game – it’s a north London derby,” Alderweireld told talkSPORT.
“Of course, you have a lot of big games in the Premier League, but this is one of them.
“And if you are a Spurs fan or you play for Spurs, you feel you have to win those games.
“Wembley will be ready for it; Spurs fans will be ready for it, so we’re really looking forward to it.”
Spurs trail Premier League leaders Manchester City by 20 points and face a fight to secure their place in the top four.
The north London side will face competition from Liverpool as well as Chelsea and Arsenal in their quest to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
But Alderweireld believes his side’s interests are best served by focusing on themselves and blocking out their rivals’ progress.
“I think we have to look to our own performance and try to win our games,” Alderweireld added.
“We don’t have their performance in our hands – only our own – so we have to try and win our games and see how far it brings us.”