|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Tottenham Hotspurs|
2019 06 30 Retrieve
[Harry Winks is not getting complacent in his bid to become a regular Premier League starter in the 2019-20 season] I had a relatively injury-free season last year until the end and I played a lot of matches, started a lot of matches and it was incredible, probably my best season so far at the club. I feel I’ve become an important player now and I couldn’t ask for more.
[Playing 41 times in all competitions last season, Winks built up a strong reputation in the side but he is aware that having one good season doesn’t merit a starting jersey] If you’d asked me three or four years ago if I wanted to be in this position now I would have snapped your hand off, but the most important thing now is not to get carried away, to work as hard as I can and try to stay in there and maintain that position because there are so many top players here. Staying in is the hardest. It’s fantastic to get there but staying there is tough with so many top-quality players at the club, all wanting to start.
2019 08 21 Retrieve
[Harry Winks has spoken of the similarities between himself and former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez, as well as his admiration for ex-Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric] It’s nice to be compared to such players, but there is still a long way to go for me. Nevertheless, Xavi is similar in his way of playing. Like me, he is not the most physical or the biggest player. I have always watched and admired him. I have always looked at Luka Modric, and it was a pleasure to watch him during training and in games. I looked up to him
[Winks has been at Tottenham since his youth] There are only Tottenham fans in my dad’s family. It was clear from birth that I would also become a Tottenham fan. I went to all the games with my dad. When I was in the youth academy, I always had a game myself on Saturday morning and then drove directly to White Hart Lane with my dad to watch the pros play. I love playing for Tottenham and I always give everything to my hometown club
[He credits manager Mauricio Pochettino and the club’s coaching staff with his improvement, and that of the club as a whole] Our coaches have created a new Tottenham and taken the club to a new level. They do incredibly well to improve us as players, and they have integrated youth players like me into the team. There is a special bond between the coach and the players. In the changing rooms we are almost like a family. We all fight for each other. That’s probably why we’ve been so successful over the past two years and improved so much
2019 09 03 Retrieve
[Harry Winks is thrilled to be back in England’s squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers] I am delighted to be back in the squad. It was difficult to get left out at the end of last season after the Champions League but I have spoken to Gareth and he told me his reasons. I totally understand them and respect them. He just told me to work hard and start the season off well and I think I have done. Luckily I am back in the squad and looking forward to going up and meeting up with the boys
Having dominated the first half with so many chances, it was difficult to take. We were excellent. We were aggressive and we showed in parts that we are back to our normal selves. We are a strong squad, off the pitch as well as on it. We’ve got bought an excellent power across the camp and everyone has been constructive and pleased. Simply outcomes haven’t been going the best way we wished them to. Everybody is happy, everybody is getting on really well. We are working as hard as we can to try to get results and get back into winning ways
2019 10 07 Retrieve
[Harry Winks concedes Tottenham are going through dark times] He’s been fantastic ever since he’s been at the club and taken the club to new heights. At the moment we are going through a bit of a rough patch. That happens in football, every club goes through it. It’s important we stand up as men and get through these dark times, and hopefully we can get back to playing well and winning as much as we can. In the last six years we have come such a long way, we have become a title-challenging side. But we haven’t shown it this season, we have only shown it in parts. In certain games, we have played really well but for the majority of this season, we haven’t shown what we are about. It’s important we look back on it and reflect, realise it’s not been good enough, no excuses. The only way we can put it right is back in training and the next match
2019 11 17 Retrieve
[Harry Winks opened the scoring at Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri with his first international goal while underlining his commitment to the team regardless of whether Southgate plays him in a deep-lying role or as an attacking midfielder] I like to be able to play both positions. I consider myself someone who can be in that pivot [position] and be in that eight if needed as well
2019 11 19 Retrieve
[Harry Winks has thanked Mauricio Pochettino for giving him the chance to break through at Tottenham] I’ve said many times and I will always say it, I’ve got everything to thank the gaffer for. He gave me the opportunity and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for him. Of course I’ve had to work hard to get here, but getting that opportunity in the first place is always difficult and I’m forever thankful to the manager for giving me that opportunity
The manager is always happy to have everybody back because we can train together as a team again. When everybody goes away separately to their countries, it’s difficult to get the same amount of training in and work on the tactical issues we need to work on, so it will be good for the manager to get everybody back in now and build-up towards the West Ham game.
Now I’m back at Tottenham I want to get back on the field with the lads, and prepare for the Premier League. We’ve got a lot of games coming up in as short space of time, as well as the Champions League where we’ve got a great opportunity to get through. So it’s going to be a tough period over the next couple of months with so many games, but it’s an exciting time. It’s time for us to really kick on now and start to get some wins and climb the table
2020 02 29 Retrieve
[Harry Winks says an honest conversation with manager Jose Mourinho prompted him to up his work rate] I had an honest chat with the manager and he told me what he believed I needed to do. It was just an honest conversation, which I respect massively. It started with training. I just think my whole level and just the intensity as well, which I said to the manager that I agree. Since we had that conversation things have improved and I have been playing more and it is important that I keep those levels and intensity because I want to stay in the team. Over the last few years I have realised what pains I can play with and which I need to be a little more pragmatic about. It’s something I’ve got used to now. I am sure every footballer would say the same
He appreciates what everyone brings to the team and what their strengths are. He prefers defensive shape and being organised. That is something we needed to improve on anyway because we were shopping too many goals. Defensively, my role is a lot more important now. I needed to improve on that. I think defensively I have started to improve under the new manager. He has said it many times, he wants us to keep the ball, he wants us to create chances, and wants us to build from the back when it is the right time. We are still in the early phases of working out what the strategy is and what the tactics are
Everybody always talks about players like Paul Scholes or Michael Carrick. People like Michael Carrick get a lot of recognition after they retire and they are more players’ players as such. Every team needs goalscorers, needs attacking players, needs players who can sweep up the ball, but every team needs that someone who can be that link between both defence and attack.
If you look at the greatest teams who have played they have always that sort of player. I think in England especially there is always an impetus to look straight for the attack-minded players, to look at the goalscorers and the people who get the assists.
I think it is important to look back not just at the midfielders but the defensive and look at footballers in a different way. When we score it’s who has affected the game that way. But when we break the game down and look in depth and look at the reason why it has happened I think that is overlooked a bit slightly
2020 03 02 Retrieve
[Winks: Wolves defeat was one of Tottenham’s best performances of the season] It was a strange game, we played so well. We were in control in the first half and it didn’t look like it was going to go any other way than us winning. It’s probably one of the best performances as a team we’ve had this season. We did everything the manager said to do from last week’s game [the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea] when we weren’t good enough. We were aggressive, we kept the ball, we created opportunities. It’s such a shame that we lost. It’s tough. We haven’t seen the goals back but there are obviously things we should have done better
The manager has told us what he believes we should have done, and we know it as well. When you’re winning you have to be cuter and find ways of stopping the transition, stopping the counter and we weren’t good enough at that today. Everything else we were spot on with, but that’s the way we lost the game
The manager told me before the game that I would be captain and it was a special moment. I couldn’t wait to tell my family and they were so proud as well, but it takes away how special it is when you lose the game. I’ll go away and I’ll look back at this as a really proud day for me and my family to captain Spurs and have to have the opportunity to lead the players out was really nice, but to come away with a defeat nullifies that a little
2020 05 04 Retrieve
[Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has suggested a large number of Premier League players are opposed to playing games behind closed doors] It’s a possibility of course and that could happen. It’s probably something that not every Premier League player wants to do. It’s a strange situation not having the fans there. That’s what makes football, that’s what makes the atmosphere. It’s what everybody plays for and lives for, it’s for the fans. When you can’t hear chanting, when you can’t hear the crowd it’s going to be a strange situation
[Winks experienced something similar when Croatia were forced to play their Nations League home game against England behind closed doors in 2018 and he was not a fan] We had it last season with Croatia away and it was a very strange situation to be involved in. It’s not something that I like and I know a lot of players feel the same way. It’s not something that anybody really wants to do but if it’s the necessary action that’s got to be done, it has to be done.
2020 05 06 Retrieve
[What do footballers think of playing games behind closed doors?] It’s probably something that not every Premier League player wants to do. It’s a strange situation not having the fans there. That’s what makes football, that’s what makes the atmosphere. It’s what everybody plays for and lives for, it’s for the fans. When you can’t hear chanting, when you can’t hear the crowd it’s going to be a strange situation