Mauricio Pochettino has hailed the ‘character’ of his Tottenham Hotspur side after Harry Winks’ 93rd-minute winner gave them three points away at Fulham.
Spurs were poor for much of the game on Sunday afternoon at Craven Cottage but managed to find a way through eventually against a hard-working Fulham side who frustrated them frequently.
Pochettino saw his side go 1-0 down after Fernando Llorente stuck the ball in his own net. Dele Alli grabbed a 51st-minute equaliser and Winks came up with the goods late on.
Spurs score 93rd-minute winner
“I am so happy with the three points,” Pochettino said.
“It wasn’t the best game but I think the performance was really solid. I’m so happy because I think in the second half we showed great character and personality.
“In the moment that Llorente scored the own goal, we were troubled a little bit. I think it was difficult for us.”
Spurs were without key players Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son. That left them bereft of ideas in midfield and lacking defensive solidity, particularly in the first half. But Pochettino insisted the performance was fine.
“I think overall we dominated the game,” he explained. “And in the end, the last action with Harry Winks was a big action that showed the belief, not only from him, but from the whole team because we kept going and tried to win. That tells you a lot about the squad.”
Pochettino: We've been working on Winks scoring more goals
Pochettino explained that he had urged Harry Winks to move into more attacking areas in recent weeks in a bid to get him to score more frequently. It clearly paid off.
“I’m so proud of Harry Winks,” he said. “We were talking in the last few weeks about improving and getting in the opposition’s box to score a few more goals.”
“With his quality and how he plays in possession, he needs to improve two different areas in the game: with the ball, [he needs to] be more aggressive and he’s doing that and I’m so happy.
“And of course to score more goals [is an area to improve]. Because when you add goals like Rakitic or Modric, you become a top, top player. Today was fantastic. The determination to arrive when he scored was fantastic.”
This was another example of Tottenham coming from behind to win a game. Before Pochettino arrived, that wasn’t a regular occurrence. He explained that he and his coaches have worked on creating the belief at the club needed for success.
“You need time to create belief. It was tough in the beginning but today, it’s one thing that we have. Maybe we have lack other things, no signings in the summer and we haven’t finished the stadium, but one thing we have is belief. And we trust in each other. That is the most important thing.”