Tottenham's Kieran Trippier out to ride England wave of confidence
Kieran Trippier says he hopes the experience he gained at the World Cup will help him become an even more important figure for Tottenham Hotspur this season.
The England right-back, who impressed in Russia as the country reached the semifinals, returned to action with Spurs on Saturday and scored a fine free kick to give them a 74th minute lead against Fulham, on the way to a 3-1 home win at Wembley.
"It's crazy what a year can do because I only made my debut for England last year, and a year later I'm playing in a World Cup," Trippier told reporters. "I learnt a lot about myself. It gave me a lot of confidence and I'm happy to come back with more experience. Hopefully I can play as many games as I can for Tottenham this season and help the team out.
"I'm eager to get more of those moments like I had at the World Cup, and try to do as well as I can for my club to get picked for England.
"I know I played for England at a World Cup with millions and millions of people watching but I still stick to my same routine -- I train, then go home to see my wife and little boy. I don't change anything. I'm just happy we could bring the fans together with the England team. I think we did that."
Trippier has a growing reputation as a set-piece specialist, having scored from a free kick in England's World Cup semifinal against Croatia and then repeated the feat against Fulham on Saturday.
"This one was a bit further out," said the 27-year-old. "Some of the boys saw me shaping up to take it and said 'is it not a bit too far out?' That made me question my decision and think 'is it a bit too far out?'
"But the decision had already been made and I tried to block the keeper's view as much as possible by telling the boys to get in the wall. I'm happy it went in.
"I think it was a crucial time to get a goal, no matter who scored it, because they were getting on top in the game. They had scored and gained a lot of momentum, but I think my goal threw them a bit.
"It was a massive three points. Fulham are a very good side and pass it well. I think they'll do really well this season."
Trippier is now putting pressure on Tottenham's first-choice free kick taker Christian Eriksen.
"It's not just Russia, I've taken them through the whole of my career," Trippier continued. "But in the time I've been here it's been Christian who has taken them, and everybody knows how good he is at dead-ball set pieces.
"I'm happy I managed to get one in Russia and another here. But whoever feels confident in the moment can take it. If Christian wants to take them, no problem.
"The one here, Christian is usually much better at striking the ball into that corner than I am. But I just felt confident in that moment of time so I asked him 'Can I take this one?' and he said 'Yeah no problem.'
"It's just about confidence and believing in your own ability. If you hit it over the wall you've got every chance of it going in."
Three minutes after Trippier's goal, Harry Kane also found the net, scoring his first ever Premier League goal in the month of August.
"I'm delighted for Harry after all this 'he can't score in August' stuff," said Trippier. "Everybody knows how deadly in front of goal he is, and he could have scored two. I'm delighted he's off the mark and hopefully he can get many more before the end of the season."