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Sites & Languages

Tue 30 June 2020, 15:45|Tottenham Hotspur

Serge Aurier is hoping we can take advantage of the new 'neutral' atmospheres on our travels for the rest of the campaign - starting with Thursday’s trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United (6pm kick-off).

With social distancing measures forcing all Premier League games to be played behind-closed-doors for the remainder of the season as we continue to combat the coronavirus, the normal bouncing stadia of passion and noise have been replaced with an eerie silence.

For Serge and his fellow professionals, it's a stark contrast to their regular experience of a matchday and the energy from the stands that they thrive on. Our Ivorian defender believes the balance?of play is subsequently shifted when it comes to away fixtures with the opposition’s ‘home-advantage’ considerably reduced.

For me, when we go and play away, it will be like playing at home and we need to keep that mentality...

Serge Aurier

“Before, with the fans, it pushed the players," explained our number 24. "When we have the fans, it is much easier for me... we play football for that, we play for the fans, we play for people to come to the stadium. That always give us a big motivation.

“Every player loves that passion and intensity from the stands. Of course, we keep our motivation with or without the fans being there whenever we play but, of course, it is difficult. We know it is also difficult for the fans though as they can’t come to the stadium. We feel that.

“We are playing in an almost neutral environment now. For me, when we go and play away, it’s will be like playing at home and we need to keep that mentality. Without the fans, it is not the same.

"The best way to give energy to the fans though is to win these games. We know everyone is watching. The gaffer said it to us during the last game, and I think it’s right, that when we play, we need to understand that everyone is watching. There might not be anyone watching in the stadium, but they are all watching on the TV. So, we need to give our all for them and we need to feel how they feel at home.”

Since the Premier League resumed earlier this month, we have made an encouraging return to action with four points picked up from our two games so far - a 1-1 draw with Manchester United and a 2-0 victory over West Ham - and Serge is keen for that positive run to be continued by earning another three points when we face the Blades on Thursday.

But what does the 27-year-old put those strong performances down to? Simply a relentless determination from the group and its solidarity during the lockdown...

“We never stopped working during the isolation. We worked hard at home. We worked a lot,” he admitted. "The lockdown obviously stopped a lot, but we stayed together with things like Zoom and we would talk all the time. Like after training we would talk, seeing how everyone is doing and hearing each other’s news and that. We never lost that feeling of togetherness - for me, that was really good. Everyone was really happy to get back to training together and then you see that on the pitch as well. Everyone is fit and trying to give everything.

“We’ve now played two games. Against Manchester United, we had the possibility to win that, but we drew and then we managed to win the derby against West Ham. I think we are in a good way. I think Sheffield United is now a big test for us. If we want to finish in the top four, we need to win this game.

“They are very good team. When we played them at home in November, we drew, and I can remember that being a tough game. We just need to remain concentrated on our objective and on ourselves as a group. They are strong but we only look at ourselves.”