Tottenham's Holtby hopes to make dad's day

Lewis Holtby will have to answer to his Everton-mad father, as well as his boss, if Tottenham do not beat Liverpool on Sunday.

Lewis Holtby

Tottenham stretched their unbeaten run to five matches on Thursday night when they beat Anzhi Makhachkala 4-1 in the Europa League.

The painful memories of the 6-0 hiding they took at Manchester City a few weeks ago are now a thing of the past, and Tottenham have a good chance of boosting their top-four prospects when they host rivals Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

Holtby knows defeat ahead of a packed festive season would cost Spurs dearly though, and he has also been warned about the consequences of defeat by his dad Chris, who is a big Everton fan.

Holtby grew up in Germany hearing his father - a Scouse serviceman who was stationed in Monchengladbach - talk endlessly about Everton so he knows he will not be happy if Spurs lose to the Toffees' biggest rivals this weekend.

"I can't repeat what he told me but, as he's a die-hard Everton fan and we're playing against the Reds, so he made it clear that he wants us to win," Holtby said.

"I've got a lot of Everton-supporting mates too, and they have all wished me very, very much luck when they have texted me."

Sunday's game will be the first time that he has played against Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

The German was a second-half substitute, though, when the Londoners travelled to Anfield in March last year, when the home side edged a 3-2 win thanks to Steven Gerrard's late penalty.

That defeat proved to be a seminal moment in the season for Andre Villas-Boas' men.

Tottenham looked certain to qualify for the Champions League in March, but they dropped points at home to Fulham and Everton after the loss at Liverpool and they ended up losing fourth place to Arsenal by a whisker.

Holtby, who scored a stunning goal against Anzhi on Thursday, knows Spurs must maintain the momentum they have over the next few weeks if they are to succeed where they failed last term.

"We have momentum now, we are on a winning stream and have put in some good performances in the last two weeks, but now we have to show it against a big club like Liverpool," Holtby added.

"It's a massive game to keep us up top. If we win that game, we could bounce maybe to second or third place, and that's what we're aiming for. Now it's up to us to handle that pressure, and win that game."

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