English Premiership

Pochettino lauds Lamela comeback

Erik Lamela (Getty Images)
Erik Lamela (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino praised goalscorer Erik Lamela on Wednesday after the striker’s goal helped his side past stubborn Newport County in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Wembley.

The Argentine striker has been out with injury for more than a year, but has returned to the team in the last couple of games and made an impact - winning a controversial stoppage-time penalty against Liverpool and grabbing his first goal against the League Two side.  

Asked about the 25-year old, who scored his first goal since September 2016, Pochettino said: "It's important, it's a very good feeling for him and he is an important player.

"He had a year out and it's never easy to come back as he was before, but he loves football and loves to train and his mentality is fantastic. He is going to recover his real level and improve because he is more mature and in a tough moment you learn a lot."

Pochettino was also happy to see two others returning from injuries, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose, get some game time.

"It's important for many players to have the possibility to play," he added.

"It's tough to find a place to play because the team is doing well. Today was a great opportunity for different players, like Toby, Danny and Harry Winks, to play games and compete at this level. It's completely different to training.

"We are in the next stage and that is the most important thing. The performance was professional, it was an important win."

Spurs next face cross-town rivals Arsenal in a London derby at Wembley Stadium on Saturday with both teams' top four hopes on the line.

Kick-off is at 14:30.

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