Spurs prospect Alex Pritchard’s pleased to get his first game under Pochettino

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Pritchard was pleased to make his return from injury and get his first appearance under Mauricio Pochettino against Everton on Saturday.

The 22-year-old’s only previous appearance for Tottenham came under Tim Sherwood in May 2014, in a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa, after his loan spell with Swindon Town in League One finished.

He spent last season with Brentford in the Championship and impressed, but then suffered an ankle injury while playing for England at the European Under-21 Championship during the summer.

That meant Pritchard was omitted from Pochettino’s first three matchday squads, but he was named among the substitutes against Everton on Saturday and came off the bench in the 85th minute to get his second piece of action at White Hart Lane.

He is one of a number of homegrown talents to progress through Tottenham’s academy and get a chance in the first team.

And Pritchard said: “It’s a big thing for English football and the youngsters, getting a chance at this level, because there weren’t many not long ago. But you can see the change now so hopefully that can carry on and more players can come through.

“At the start of the season obviously the injury kind of killed me a little bit but I’ve been getting my fitness back with the reserves, getting 45 minutes and then 90 minutes under my belt and now getting the minutes with the first team, so hopefully I can carry that on and get more.

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“Obviously I know quite a lot of the players here and since I’ve been back it’s been really good. The season’s started off quite slowly but we take the positives [from the goalless draw against Everton] – it’s a clean sheet and a point so we carry on.”

Pritchard finished the game alongside fellow substitute Dele Alli, a 19-year-old who has jumped two divisions after arriving from MK Dons in League One and has already scored for Tottenham, opening his account against Leicester.

“It’s good for him, he’s just got to keep his head and keep his feet on the ground and kick on,” said Pritchard. “He’s got his goal now so his confidence is high and he’s training well so I’m pleased for him.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs