Heung-Min Son is enjoying Spurs’ schedule but admits there’s a silver lining to FA Cup exit
Heung-Min Son is enjoying his first year in English football and is relishing Tottenham’s busy schedule, stating that Germany’s winter break felt “very wrong” to him.
But, while Spurs’ summer signing is “angry” about Spurs’ FA Cup defeat on Sunday, he admits it was a big task to fight on three fronts and feels there is a silver lining to their exit – that they can now concentrate on their Premier League title bid and their Europa League campaign.
Son joined Tottenham in August in a £22million deal, having previously played for Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany’s Bundesliga.
The South Korea international has consequently been used to having a break at the midway point of the season, but there has been precious little respite this term, with Spurs playing 14 games in the last two months.
Son is in his element though: “I’m very happy,” he said. “In Germany we have maybe two weeks’ holiday and we have the pre-season again and for maybe one month we don’t play.
“This was very wrong for me and now it’s very good because we have a game every three or four days. I love to play football. It’s my first year here but it’s nice to be here to play on Boxing Day and things like that.”
Tottenham’s schedule has now eased a little after their 1-0 home defeat to London rivals Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
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Spurs’ elimination was certainly a missed opportunity – especially as they would have faced Championship outfit Reading in the quarter-finals – and their quest to win the trophy for the first time since 1991 continues.
However, Tottenham are also hunting their first league title since 1961, while they host Fiorentina in the second leg of their last-32 Europa League tie on Thursday.
And, while Son says the squad was disappointed with the weekend’s result, he admits Spurs’ exit may aid their challenge in their remaining two competitions.
“I think so because we’re heading towards the end of the season,” he said. “I don’t know if all the players are tired but now it’s very important, we have two tournaments to play.
“We’re not happy because we’re out of the FA Cup but we can say now we can concentrate on the Europa League and the league.
“We can’t play every game or every tournament like the FA Cup, Europa League and Premier League. We’re angry that we lost but this is football.
“I think it was a bit unlucky because we had many chances to score and win the game, but it’s not easy.
“Crystal Palace scored to make it 1-0 and then we had to score maybe one or two - but it’s finished now, we have to concentrate on the Europa League next.
“Because it’s 1-0, if you score in the last minute it’s a replay, but I think we have the quality [to compete] for the FA Cup. Now it’s finished and we are very angry because we lost but we have to understand [we have other competitions]. We would have been really tired [if there had been a replay] but why not? It would have been nice.
“I think we played well but we didn’t score - this is the one thing. We know we have good players, every player can score and we have to be ready for the next game.
“I’m very excited but we have to win [against Fiorentina]. We have four days before we play so we can relax and recover, and we have to be really focused. Fiorentina are a very good team.”
Son emerged from Sunday’s defeat with some personal credit, having been named the man of the match against Palace – but he is keen to add to his five-goal haul for Spurs, having struck 14 times for Leverkusen last season.
“I came back after injury and now I feel better than before,” he said. “If we win I’m very happy but if we don’t… I know I can play much better and I can score more as well, but I have to try together with the team. I will be doing everything for the team.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs