Mauricio Pochettino says Danny Rose was the first player he called when he arrived at Tottenham and is delighted the full-back is now repaying his faith.
Rose scored the winner as Pochettino's side came from behind to beat Swansea 2-1 at White Hart Lane, a victory that reduces the gap between Spurs and league leaders Leicester back to two points.
For a long time it looked like Swansea would pull off a surprise win in north London as Alberto Paloschi gave the visitors a surprise early lead and then Lukasz Fabianski frustrated Tottenham with a number of excellent saves.
Substitute Nacer Chadli, however, equalised in the 70th minute and seven minutes later Rose drove a loose ball home to keep his team's title charge on track.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season under Pochettino but his Spurs future was far from certain when the Argentinian arrived, after the new head coach made fellow left-back Ben Davies one of his first signings in the summer of 2014.
"We arrived 21 months ago and the first meeting I have with a Tottenham player was with him," Pochettino said.
"I was happy and pleased to give him the opportunity to stay here and work with us.
"It is true we are very happy with him showing quality and helping the team.
"It was maybe difficult from the beginning when we arrived but I am very happy for him. The crowd were singing his name."
Spurs had 34 shots, 14 of them on target, against Swansea and the relief was palpable when Chadli finally turned home Kyle Walker's shot across goal with 20 minutes left.
Pochettino cut a frustrated figure as Fabianski continued to defy his players' assault on the Swansea goal but the Tottenham boss was as pleased as anyone when Chadli and then Rose found the net.
"Fabianski was fantastic and it looked like it would be impossible to score. But when we scored the second goal you feel freedom in this moment."
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose, Dier, Alli, Son (Mason, 75 mins), Eriksen, Lamela (Chadli, 62 mins), Kane (Onomah, 84 mins). Unused subs: Bentaleb, Vorm, Trippier, Davies.
SWANSEA: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Cork, Britton (Fer, 75 mins), Ki (Gomis, 83 mins), Sigurdsson, Ayew, Paloschi (Barrow, 88 mins). Unused subs: Amat, Nordfeldt, Routledge, Naughton.
Man of the match: Lukasz Fabianski
Match rating: 8/10
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)