Toby Alderweireld reveals dedication to Saints cause

Southampton Toby Alderweireld

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Defender Toby Alderweireld has revealed he is playing through the pain barrier as he looks to help loan club Southampton qualify for Europe.

The Belgium international has spent the season on loan at St Mary’s from Spanish champions Atletico Madrid but it looked like his spell would end early when he was stretchered off against Stoke on April 18.

However, the 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of the 2-2 home draw against Tottenham at the weekend although he admitted it was “hell”.

“There is a little bone broken, but my desire to play was so big,” Alderweireld said. “I did everything I could to play and gave my all for Southampton even with a broken bone.”

Southampton have enjoyed a tremendous season after losing a number of key players including Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert last summer, while boss Mauricio Pochettino was tempted to White Hart Lane by spurs.

At one stage Saints were threatening to finish in the top four of the Premier League but they are now seventh and in a fight to secure a place in next season’s Europa League.

“We are going to try, we played good football on Saturday and that gives us confidence,” added Alderweireld.

“We will recover this week and then go at it with the full 100%.”

Southampton return to action in the Premier League at Sunderland on Saturday and are 1.95 to leave Wearside with all three points. The relegation-haunted Black Cats are 4.20 to win and the draw is 3.10.

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