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Perry hails improved Tottenham defence

The start of Mauricio Pochettino's maiden campaign at the helm proved rocky, with new signings Federico Fazio and Eric Dier among those to struggle early in the Argentinian's time at White Hart Lane.

However, both have been regular fixtures of late as Spurs have maintained their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League heading into Sunday's League Cup final.

"At the start of the season, they were switching their centre-halves about and there wasn't any continuity," Perry told Perform.

"Fazio looked to be really struggling with the pace of the Premier League - he looked a little bit slow and a bit pedestrian but he adapted.

"After the first few games he adapted really well and, as a former centre-back, if you can find someone you're comfortable playing with during the game then it really does make a difference.

"I was very impressed this season with the [Jan] Vertonghen-Fazio partnership and Eric Dier over the past few weeks has come in and done fantastically well.

"He did very well early in the season at right-back, but did exceptionally well when he has moved into his preferred position at centre-back.

"He seems to give them a little bit more pace than Fazio and he seems to have a decent partnership with Vertonghen, which I think is important."

Spurs face a huge week in which they play Fiorentina in the UEFA Europa League and Chelsea at Wembley for silverware, with Perry warning that Pochettino's squad may well be stretched over the remainder of the season.

"It's been a season that's improved as it's gone on. At the start of the season, he wasn't quite sure of his best XI," Perry added.

"He worked them hard in pre-season and a few of the players weren't too sure about his methods and double sessions but the once that have bought into it are the ones who are playing now and they're starting to see the benefits.

"Although there are demands because of the Europa League, I think they've got a slightly bigger squad than [Pochettino's former club] Southampton had and a slightly better one.

"I thought he would get it right eventually and it's actually happened a bit quicker than I thought it would."