Pochettino proud of Spurs spirit

Image: SpursWeb

Mauricio Pochettino hailed Tottenham’s fighting spirit as his players came from behind to beat Everton 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

Spurs have already lost four times at home this season but goals from Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado cancelled out Kevin Mirallas’ opener and ensured all three points stayed at White Hart Lane.

Pochettino has previously questioned the mental toughness of his team but the Argentinian head coach was delighted with a hard-fought victory.

“Our mentality and our spirit today were fantastic,” Pochettino said.

“This is what we want. We need to keep this feeling. It is impossible always to win but with the spirit and mentality we showed today, it will be easier to win games.”

He added: “Everton have a very good squad and for us it is not only three points, it is a little bit more than three points.

“It is important to grow and build on the victory.”

Spurs, who are now seventh in the table and two points off fourth, played with more urgency and attacking verve, which rallied the home support.

Emmanuel Adebayor said Tottenham had been afraid to get on the ball against Stoke due to the negative atmosphere at White Hart Lane but Pochettino believes the fans played an important part in his side’s victory.

“I understand our supporters were angry because if you lose four games at home, it is impossible for the supporters to be happy,” Pochettino said.

“I understand that but today the team sent a different signal to our supporters and it is important to keep this feeling and mentality for the rest of the season.”

Pochettino continued: “I am very happy because today was an important win for us.

“It is important to get the three points, the performance was very good and I am very pleased with the players and the supporters.

“Today wasn’t easy because they scored with their first shot and after we turned the result around in the first half.

“I think it was important how our supporters helped the team.”

Soldado’s goal came on the brink of half-time and was his first in 593 minutes of competitive action.

The Spaniard latched onto Aaron Lennon’s pass before coolly slotting the ball past Tim Howard and into the far corner.

“You need to give confidence to the player to keep working hard,” Pochettino said of the former Valencia front-man.

“It has not been easy for him but you need to motivate the player – it is always frustrating for a striker who does not score.

Today he scored and he is happy, he is more free because he feels the pressure.

“It is important for the team that the striker scores goals.”

Soldado will be hoping he retains his place ahead of Adebayor when Tottenham visit league leaders Chelsea on Wednesday.

Adebayor has been left out of the match-day squad for the last three consecutive matches with Pochettino explaining afterwards the striker is suffering from a virus he picked up last Saturday.

Spurs were fortunate not to concede a late penalty when the ball struck Federico Fazio’s arm as the defender jumped in the air to meet a cross.

Pochettino believes referee Michael Oliver was right not to award a spot-kick but Everton boss Roberto Martinez disagreed.

“I’ll never blame a decision like that for not getting a result, it happens, it’s part of the game,” Martinez said.

“But I’m disappointed because Michael Oliver is a really good referee and when the ball contacted the arm he wasn’t in an obstructed view and I think it should have been spotted. It was a real shame.”

He added: “I would never blame a third party for us not getting a result though. We should be good enough to come to White Hart Lane and get a result.”

Everton were without influential midfielder James McCarthy for the contest.

The 24-year-old is struggling with a recurrence of a hamstring injury and Martinez admitted the club will “take a bit of time” before bringing him back.


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