Pochettino hails Lamela's impact on Spurs success
Ael Limassol 1 - Tottenham 2
Erik Lamela showed a glimpse of his undoubted quality by inspiring Tottenham to an unlikely comeback victory against AEL Limassol – a performance manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident the club-record signing will start producing with increasing regularity.
Many had written off the 22-year-old after an injury-disrupted first season at Spurs in which he managed a measly three league starts but, after a decent display in the season-opening win at West Ham, Pochettino threw Lamela on after 72 minutes in Cyprus with his side losing to an early Adrian Sardinero goal in the first leg of their Europa League play-off.
It proved an inspired alteration as within six minutes of his introduction not only had he provided the assist for Roberto Soldado's exquisite first-time leveller but he went on to set-up Harry Kane to secure a 2-1 win.
"It is never easy in the first season for a player from another country," Pochettino said of his compatriot. "It is true that it was difficult for him.
"He was injured, too, and we are confident with him that with time and hard work, like he has done in pre-season, that he can go far.
"He was very disappointed about last season but the past is the past.
"We need him to look forward, believe in his skill and condition and work very, very hard. With confidence and time he will show his value.
"You always nominate players on the bench who can have an impact and all three subs had an impact on the game.
"I think it was a very tough game, a difficult game, a hard game because the conditions were difficult and the weather was difficult.
"I'm happy with the performance. In the end 2-1 for us is an important result for us.
"It is true that in the first half we started to make mistakes, but in general, I am happy and looking forward to the next game."