Spurs under-23 coach Burnett hails Pochettino and Skipp

Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp (left) and Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend battle for the ball dur

Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp (left) and Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend battle for the ball during the FA Cup fourth round match at Selhurst Park (pic: Victoria Jones/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The 47-year-old heaped praise on the Tottenham manager and talked up Oliver Skipp

Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp during the Premier

Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium (pic: Bradley Collyer/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Oliver Skipp began the season playing for Tottenham Hotspur’s under-23s, but his start for the Spurs first-team against Leicester City in the Premier League on February 10 saw him move into double figures in terms of appearances for the senior side.

It has been quite the rise for the 18-year-old and has happened partly due to injuries, yet also because of his willingness to learn.

Wayne Burnett coached Skipp when he was part of the under-23s and now the teen is answering calls from Mauricio Pochettino.

While there is no doubt the Lilywhites number 52 has a lot to learn, he is currently the best example to other members in the Tottenham under-23 squad.


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If Spurs’ youngsters first of all have talent and on top of this work extremely hard and apply themselves correctly, chances can come their way.

Burnett said: “Skipp should absolutely inspire our players and motivate them and drive them because it shows we have a manager who wants to give young players an opportunity.

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“You look at Skipp and he has played in the first-team and clearly the manager trusts him.

“Hopefully he can fulfil his potential and I can’t emphasis enough the fact we have a brilliant manager that allows them players the opportunity to play.”

This has been a difficult week for Tottenham, with defeats at Burnley and Chelsea ending the club’s unlikely title challenge.

Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp and Crystal Palace's Max Meyer (right) battle for the ball during t

Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp and Crystal Palace's Max Meyer (right) battle for the ball during the FA Cup fourth round match at Selhurst Park (pic: Victoria Jones/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Although the fact they were in the mix with Liverpool and Manchester City until the end of February probably deserves some type of recognition.

Many will wonder what might have been had injuries not hit Spurs hard this season, but it affects everyone at some stage.

When the Lilywhites have had several absentees, it has opened the door for the likes of Skipp and he has taken his chance.

The Welwyn Garden City looked a touch out of his depth against Leicester last month and yet still played a part in the 3-1 victory by helping assist Christian Eriksen’s goal with a brave block.

It was only Skipp’s fourth start for Spurs, but he will learn so much from matches like the one with the Foxes.

And if he can build on these experiences, sky is the limit for the latest Hotspur Way academy graduate.

“You can be an incredible talent, but you need to be given the opportunity and we are fortunate enough to have a manager who gives our young players an opportunity and we are very lucky to have him,” Burnett added.

“Skipp played a lot of games for us last season and did very well and he has now been given a chance and hopefully he can go on and fulfil his potential.”

This year alone under-23s Timothy Eyoma, George Marsh and Kazaiah Sterling have all made appearances for Tottenham’s first-team and Luke Amos made his debut back in August.

It seems like highly-rated forward Troy Parrott, 17, could be the next one knocking on the door for the senior set-up and Pochettino will give him his moment if the timing is right.

Burnett added: “What the manager is very good at is knowing when they are ready.

“He seems to have an ability to know when they are ready because whenever anyone has gone in and played, they have equipped themselves very well, so he knows.

“He works with them very closely and he has an incredible ability to know when they are ready.”

All eyes will now be on the next Spurs youngster to make it through and remain in the first-team fold like Skipp.

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