Steven Caulker has confessed that Edin Dzeko's late winner for Manchester City on Sunday was hard to swallow for Tottenham.
"The lads put in a lot of effort and it's hard to take that result with a late goal," Caulker told the club's official website.
The Bosnian substitute struck in the 88th minute to secure a 2-1 win for the Premier League champions at Etihad Stadium, despite Caulker's first-half header giving Spurs the lead.
It left Andre Villas-Boas and his squad stewing over a third defeat in its last four games and in seventh place in the table after being leapfrogged by Everton, West Brom and West Ham over the weekend.
The 20-year-old revealed the atmosphere in the dressing room was one of disappointment after the game, but insists Spurs can take positives from their performance and use them as ammunition going into the north London derby with rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
"We were comfortable at half time. Obviously, I was delighted to score the goal, that got us in front and we were looking steady," Caulker explained. "In the second half we started to drop off with their pressure, they kept going and scored two goals in the end."
He added, "They are a strong side and we can take a lot of pride in that performance, especially in the first half. We'll try to bounce back in the North London derby next week."
- Sports & Recreation