“I think he played like a 30-year-old man” – Poch speaks on debutant Skipp

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Mauricio Pochettino has some special words of praise for Oliver Skipp following the midfielder’s first start in the Premier League.

Skipp was named in Tottenham Hotspur’s starting eleven for the visit of Burnley to Wembley and aged 18 years and 90 days, he became is the youngest player to start a league game for the club since Gareth Bale faced Manchester United in October 2007.

The youngster did not show any signs of nerves during his debut appearance, was hungry to receive the ball and played some nice passes into the Tottenham forward three to try and start an attack.

His energetic display saw him last 75 minutes before Pochettino decided on a tactical attacking switch by bringing Christian Eriksen on for Skipp to try and push for a winner.

The decision proved correct when the Dane scored in the 91st minute to finally break the deadlock against a Burnley side who seemed determined to play for a draw.

Pochettino said in his post-match press conference to Football.London when asked about Skipp’s performance: “Fantastic, fantastic, I think he played like a 30-year-old man. So relaxed, trying to play forward and trying to give the team what the team needs, plenty of energy, full energy, I am so proud of him. I think everyone is proud of him. He is only 18-years-old and I think it was fantastic. Now I think it is going to be easy for him because always the debut you are nervous. I remember when it was my first game and I said to him ‘you look so relaxed. When I was 17, going to play I was so nervous’. I said ‘that is the difference between a player going to be a top player and a player who was going to be normal player like me’.

“He in the last few months, of course in the USA in pre season he shows that he can cope with the pressure to play in the first team and it was only about time and the possibility to give the opportunity. We are so happy. I want to congratulate the people in the academy, John [McDermott, academy head], Dean [Rastrick, academy manager] and the coaches and staff who work in education. I think to build his career with him and to help him to build his career is fantastic. The work they are doing is amazing and we need to profit from this work to provide the team that energy and quality player because he is a very good kid, a very good person and it is a fantastic thing for Tottenham.”

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