Football

Dembele senses 'special' season for Spurs

TOTTENHAM MIDDLESBROUGH

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele senses there is something special on the horizon at White Hart Lane with his north London side sitting second in the English Premier League, nine points behind Chelsea.

Last season, Spurs fell away in their pursuit of a first league title since 1961 and finished third behind champions Leicester City and bitter rivals Arsenal. They had failed to win any of their final four matches.

"I think if we end up in the same situation, maybe we can do something special compared to last year. It is difficult to tell, but we have this feeling that we can do something, of course," Dembele told Sky Sports.

"I think we have learnt from last year. But it's a difficult thing, you need to be in that situation again to see if we have outgrown that.

"(But) there is a very good vibe, there's a difference compared to last year, so yes, I think we can do something special in the same situation."

Midfielder Eric Dier has demanded that Spurs put pressure on leaders Chelsea with victory against Middlesbrough.

"With the mentality we have here, we would be upset to finish in the same position as last season," said Dier.

"We want to be better and we want to show it. Everyone wants to reach the very top.

"We have improved a lot and I don't think there is anything about us that is lacking but, until we win a trophy, that will always be the question."

Defenders Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier and forward Erik Lamela will be unavailable against Middlesbrough.

However, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who had trained for the last two days, is available for selection. He had missed the 0-0 draw with Sunderland in midweek due to illness and was deputised by Michel Vorm.

Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura, who recently returned from African Nations Cup duty, is in line to make his Middlesbrough debut following a deadline-day move from Watford. - WIRE SERVICES

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