Mauricio Pochettino impressed with Tottenham character

Published Add your comment

Article continues below

Article continues below

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino hailed his side's strength of character after Mousa Dembele's late strike sealed a 2-1 win over Anderlecht in the Europa League.

The contest at White Hart Lane looked to be heading for a draw when Harry Kane's first-half strike was cancelled out by Imoh Ezekiel, but Dembele came off the bench to score a stunning winner in the 87th minute.

The result puts Spurs top of Group J, one point ahead of Monaco, and means they now have two wins in four days heading into Sunday's crunch visit to North London rivals Arsenal.

"We knew Anderlecht are a very good team," Pochettino said.

"It was a difficult start to the game. They had some chances. The way we managed the ball and moved the ball was very slow. It was difficult for us to create chances.

"The way Anderlecht play is to sit deep and move forward with very fast players but we showed character.

"It is difficult to play every game, creating chances and always trying to play from the back with our philosophy.

"Today I congratulate the players because sometimes when you don't play well you need to show character and compete and suffer. Today we learned a lot."

Dembele expressed disappointment earlier this year at his lack of game-time at the club but the midfielder appears to have won over Pochettino, having started all of Tottenham's previous four matches and scored in his last three.

"If we analyse him last season, part of the season he was injured," Pochettino said.

"I think Dembele from the beginning of this season, every time he was available he had the possibility to play.

"Always it's up to the player. If the player shows he deserves to play, it's easy for them.

"I am very pleased with him. He got injured against Everton and had some problems with his foot but today he was very important for us."

Kane's goal came just a few hours after he was called up to Roy Hodsgon's England squad and it continues a recent return to form for the striker, who now has five in his last three appearances.

"We never had any doubts about him," Pochettino said.

"Always the top players sometimes have times when they struggle to score.

"We are very pleased with him, very happy he has started to score again and I think we deserved to take the three points.

"I am pleased because we are top of the group and now we need to focus only on Sunday."

Tottenham move three points ahead of Anderlecht, with a five-hour trip to Qarabag to come next for Pochettino's men before their final group match at home to Monaco.

Monaco and Qarabag drew 1-1 earlier on Thursday and Anderlecht boss Besnik Hasi remained upbeat about his side's prospects of qualification.

"Of course I'm disappointed with the result but I thought we deserved a draw or even more," Hasi said.

"With the draw between Monaco and Qarabag, everything remains possible in this group."

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:


Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again