'Amazing' Son hailed by Pochettino despite Asian Cup disappointment
PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 February 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
The South Korean couldn't help his country win in the United Arab Emirates, but inspired Spurs to success over Watford upon his return
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his delight with Tottenham Hotspur attacker Heung-min Son following Wednesday’s late victory over Watford.
The 26-year-old equalised for Spurs in the 80th minute at Wembley Stadium, after the Hornets’ Craig Cathcart had opened the scoring, and Fernando Llorente’s 87th-minute header handed all three points to the hosts.
Son was playing his first match since South Korea were dumped out of the Asian Cup in the quarter-finals to Qatar on January 25 and Pochettino praised the Tottenham star.
He said: “Yes, amazing effort and a great goal. From the beginning he showed great energy and I am so happy with his performance, but more happy because he showed massive commitment with the team and that is so important to tell everyone.
“Because the energy that he spent and the commitment that he showed, I think is a very good point to reward him with a lot of praise from the coaching staff and praise from the club.”
Pochettino confirmed Son was disappointed after failing to lead South Korea to more glory, having done so last summer in the Asian Games.
However, the Argentinian admitted from a selfish point of view he was happy to have Spurs’ number seven back given he would have missed the Watford game in addition to this weekend’s clash with Newcastle United had reached the Asian Cup final.
“I am always happy with him, he is a very nice guy and he is available always to deliver the job you expect from him,” Pochettino said.
“Of course it is so important to have all of the players fit in management and of course he was disappointed to lose the quarter-final against Qatar.
“He wanted to deliver his best for his country and win the Asian Cup, but in the same time, I need to be honest, I am happy he is back because he is helping us and is going to help us to try and win and that is so important.”
Tottenham were not expected to play Son for the whole 90 minutes against Watford, but the score made it difficult for them to take him off when they had planned.
It now remains to be seen whether he will be fit enough to start from the off at home to Newcastle on Saturday afternoon (12.30pm).
“For me it was too much. It wasn’t the plan to play with him for 90 minutes but how the result was, you know in that moment I talked with Jesus [Perez] and I said maybe we need to take a little bit of a risk to keep him playing,” Pochettino added.
“He finished very tired, with some cramp. We’re going to see if he can recover for the next game.
“If he’s ok maybe he’s going to be in the starting XI, if not on the bench, but for sure if we need him, he’s going to help the team, so that’s one more circumstance again.”