Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Paulo Gazzaniga after the goalkeeper made his first appearance for Tottenham since November.
Gazzaniga replaced Michel Vorm in goal for the match against Brighton yesterday after the Dutchman picked up an injury on Friday in training.
With Hugo Lloris still sidelined, Vorm had come in for criticism from large sections of the Spurs support for his sub-par performances against Watford, Liverpool and Inter Milan.
Gazzaniga put in an assured performance which saw Spurs end their three-match losing streak with a 2-1 win on the south coast. However, it could have been a different scoreline if not for a couple of smart saves from the former Southampton player.
Pochettino labelled Gazzaniga as his man of the match when he spoke to Football.London after the game at the Amex: “For me Paulo Gazzaniga was man of the match, he was fantastic, fantastic because the energy that translates to the team and I think his personality, his character, because he knew today that he was going to play.
“That is so difficult to play that way, and the condition of the pitch, the weather, windy, it was raining, I think for me he was man of the match. Maybe he didn’t make an unbelievable save, but I don’t know who was man of the match, but for me he deserved to be and I say well done to him on the pitch at the end, because of the energy and feeling he translated to the team was very calm and relaxed – ‘I am going to protect you’. That is the message he sent. That is why I am so happy with him.”
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