Harry Redknapp believes that Tottenham’s centre-backs Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen quickly need to get back to their best.
Spurs have had the international break to dust themselves off from arguably the toughest period of Mauricio Pochettino’s five-year reign as manager.
The North London club were hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and beaten 3-0 away to Brighton in the Premier League during their last two games.
They have lost captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris through injury until the New Year, which does not help with big question marks over them defensively.
Ex-Spurs boss Redknapp has picked out the main centre-back partnership of Alderweireld and Vertonghen, who he feels needs to improve.
They both played every minute of the last two defeats and looked a shadow of the players that have been regarded as some of the Premier League’s best defenders in recent years.
“The two centre halves as well (Vertonghen and Alderweireld) – the two Belgian boys – they have to start performing,” Redknapp told the Mirror.
Spurs have enough quality within their ranks to get back on track after the international break and there is no doubt they have to go back to basics defensively.
Pochettino should stand by his experienced Belgian centre-back pairing, despite their being plenty of speculation about their futures.
Spurs face bottom of the table Watford at home on Saturday in an ideal game on paper and a much-needed clean sheet would be a major boost to the side.
They have been carved open far too easily at the back recently and need their leaders in defence to stand up.