Hoddle: Wimmer can step up with Vertonghen out

Former Tottenham Hotspur star Glenn Hoddle has told FourFourTwo that summer signing Kevin Wimmer has the qualities to cover for injured defender Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgium international scored an own goal in Spurs’ 3-1 win at Crystal Palace last weekend, before limping off after 75 minutes with a knee injury that will keep him out for action for the foreseeable future.

Austrian international defender Wimmer made his league debut for the Lilywhites by replacing his stricken team-mate, and Hoddle is more than confident that the former Cologne centre-back can now step up to the plate.

I think Dier can go back in there but then there's a massive hole [in midfield] and there's not a similar style of player who can replace Eric. So I'd keep Dier in midfield – it's worked well, and then Wimmer comes in there and with [Toby] Alderweireld makes a nice solid protection

Speaking to FourFourTwo, the BT Sport pundit said: "I think Wimmer will come in. It would be a kick in the teeth for the lad if [Mauricio] Pochettino doesn't give him an opportunity. I think [Eric] Dier can go back in there but then there's a massive hole [in midfield] and there's not a similar style of player who can replace Eric. I don't see [Nabil] Bentaleb as being in the same mould as him. So I'd keep Dier in midfield – it's worked well, and then Wimmer comes in there and with [Toby] Alderweireld makes a nice solid protection.”

Spurs make the 60-mile trip to Colchester United on Saturday for a potentially tricky FA Cup fourth round tie, but Hoddle - who won the trophy with Tottenham in 1981 and 1982 - foresees a straightforward victory for the visitors and an opportunity go far in this season’s competition.

The U's have never faced Spurs competitively before

“On paper it's a bit of a sticky wicket, it's a possible upset... but I don't see it,” he said. “I think they'll rest a few players and have them on the bench, up their sleeve if needed, but I can only see a Spurs win.

“I think Spurs have got the squad to go for all three trophies. Whether they can win all three depends on how they perform on the day. Pochettino knows the history of Tottenham. He knows because he's an Argentine and he knows about our success and he knows about Ossie [Ardiles] and Ricky [Villa] – it meant a bit more then but managers will look back on it and say we won it once or three times or whatever. I do believe that the cup is as important as anything else.”

I was always told that you weren't playing against lower-league opposition, you were playing against opposition trying to take away your opportunity of playing at Wembley in the cup final. And that was something we always had in mind when playing as a team

The U’s are currently bottom of League One having won just five of their 28 matches this season, but motivation shouldn’t be a factor for the Premier League high fliers according to Hoddle, whose Spurs side faced third-tier Exeter en route to cup glory in 1981.

“In some respects it's not a problem to get motivated,” he said. “I was always told that you weren't playing against lower-league opposition, you were playing against opposition trying to take away your opportunity of playing at Wembley in the cup final.

Glenn lets fly in the 1981 FA Cup Final

"And that was something we always had in mind when playing as a team. The difference in those days was the pitches... the pitches weren't anywhere near as good as they are now. If you go back to Colchester beating Leeds many moons ago it was similar to that. It was an awful pitch, I remember it.

"We [Spurs] got dumped out by Cardiff in the third round and it was on a bog of a pitch. Premier League clubs haven't got that [to deal with]. The pitches are decent, even down in League One, so it's a different scenario.”

Watch Colchester vs Tottenham in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round live and exclusive on BT Sport 2 from midday this Saturday. Visit btsport.com for more info.