Tough games are why I love football, says Tottenham star Vertonghen

Spurs are set to follow up their north London derby win with crunch fixtures against Inter and Liverpool, fixtures which mark this out as a "special time" for the Belgian
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen says huge clashes with the likes of Arsenal and Inter are the reason for his love of football.

Spurs took a huge step towards sealing Champions League qualification on Sunday with a 2-1 win over their north London rivals at White Hart Lane.

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And, with a Europa League meeting with the Nerazzurri preceding a trip to Liverpool, the big games are coming thick and fast for Andre Villas-Boas' men - a fact which the Belgian is relishing.

"This is why we play football," he told the club's official website. "It's a tough week, a tough season, actually.

"We started the week well at West Ham and we needed the win against Arsenal. That was a fantastic and now we prepare for Inter. No doubt it's a special time for the fans as well.”

The 25-year-old went on to reveal that he now understands the importance of the north London derby following his first victory in the fixture.

"I only arrived at the club six months ago but you can feel this is one of the most important games of the season," he continued.

"It's my first win in the north London derby, so I'm happy. We had a difficult 30 minutes but we stayed compact, stayed playing as a team and the goals were great for us.

"We said don't concede an early goal in the second half like at [Manchester] United, but we're a very strong team, we can play compact and we showed that again."