Belfast Telegraph

Danny Rose happy Spurs managed to bloom in new formation

Danny Rose has revealed Tottenham's players only discovered their new formation two hours before they thrashed Hull 3-0 on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino started with three at the back for only the second time this season as Spurs adopted a 3-4-2-1 at White Hart Lane, with Christian Eriksen in central midfield.

Eriksen thrived on the extra responsibility by scoring twice and setting up the third, his free-kick cannoning back off a post for Victor Wanyama to slam home.

The other notable beneficiaries were Rose and Kyle Walker, the pair tormenting Hull down the flanks and repaying the manager's faith with assists for both Eriksen goals.

"Everything is down to the manager, we had no idea until we had the meeting a couple of hours before the game," Rose said.

"We know what's wanted from whatever formation we play. I feel everyone did well.

"We only knew when we went to the training ground at about 5pm. We haven't worked on it or anything but we've done well.

"We don't often have time to work on formations, only if we've got one game a week. Then, say if we play Saturday-Saturday, we know the Wednesday session will be a tactical session - working on how to play out from the back and different formations.

"But when it's Saturday-Wednesday-Sunday-Wednesday, we don't do much tactical work. There isn't much time.

"Whatever formation we play everyone knows their job and what's asked from them."

After a difficult few weeks, Tottenham are showing signs of a return to form and can capitalise on a kind Christmas period that includes fixtures against Burnley, Southampton and Watford.

Spurs are 10 points adrift of Chelsea in the table but they have four points more than they did at this stage last year, when they won eight of their next 10 matches to launch a surprise title challenge.

"It's fair to say we're probably still in third gear compared to last season," Rose said.

"Hopefully once the new year comes we can push on. We had a good December and January last season and we're looking to do that again.

"I don't see why we're not still in the title race. It's a good position we're in. Man City or Arsenal are going to drop points at the weekend (they play each other) and hopefully we can capitalise on that.

"I think that's a positive to take - we're in the park still and we're probably only playing at 60 per cent."

Hull's defeat means they have now equalled the club's top-flight record of six consecutive away losses and remain 19th ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham.

"We had a spell towards the end of the first half where we could have got back in it with a couple of chances," said Hull midfielder Ryan Mason.

"But if you don't take them, you get punished against the big boys."

Mason came through Tottenham's academy and was making his first return since leaving the club in August.

It was also likely to be Mason's last visit to White Hart Lane, which is hosting its final season before Spurs move to Wembley and then their new stadium in 2018.

The 25-year-old came on as a second-half substitute but was disappointed not to start.

"It was obviously the first game I looked out for in the fixture list because I knew it'd be the last game I'd play at White Hart Lane and it was emotional," Mason said.

"I was devastated to be on the bench. I wanted to start the game but that's just part of football - you've got to be professional and ready to come on."

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