February 8, 2018 / 5:04 AM / 4 months ago

Tottenham's Pochettino backs Lamela to hit 'real level'

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino backed Erik Lamela to hit top form after the midfielder scored his first goal since returning from a hip injury that kept him out for over a year in Wednesday’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Newport County.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - February 4, 2018 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino gestures Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

The Argentina international, who last found the net for his club in September 2016, struck the second goal after defender Dan Butler’s own goal to help Tottenham beat fourth-tier Newport in their fourth round replay at Wembley.

“I think he is going to find it easy to recover his real level, or improve because he is more mature and you learn in a tough moment a lot. No doubt,” Pochettino said after the game.

“Always it’s important to feel the net for offensive players and for him to play 90 minutes. It’s an important feeling for him. It’s important because he’s an important player.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round Replay - Tottenham Hotspur vs Newport County - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - February 7, 2018 Tottenham's Erik Lamela celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Lamela underwent hip surgery last April before returning to the team in November. He has made 13 league appearances this season and two more in the FA Cup.

The 25-year-old played the full 90 minutes against Newport, only the second time he has done so this season.

“Of course it was a massive problem, more than one year out. It’s never easy to come back and perform as he was before. But he loves football, and he loves to train. I think his mentality is fantastic.”

Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League with 49 points from 26 matches and take on sixth-placed north London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below