Belfast Telegraph

Son in good spirits after devastation of Gomes injury, says Pochettino

The Tottenham forward has won his appeal against his red card in the draw with Everton.

Son Heung-min has won his appeal against his red card at Everton (Nick Potts/PA).
Son Heung-min has won his appeal against his red card at Everton (Nick Potts/PA).

By Jonathan Veal, PA, Belgrade

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min is in a “good way” following his involvement in Andre Gomes’ horror injury.

The South Korean was visibly distraught after his tackle during Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Everton left Gomes needing surgery on a broken and dislocated ankle.

He received a red card from referee Martin Atkinson, which has since been overturned by the Football Association on appeal, and needed support from his club on Monday.

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Mauricio Pochettino’s team take on Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday (Darko Vojinovic/AP).

That led to some doubt over whether he would travel with Spurs to Serbia for their crunch Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday, but he joined the squad and looks set to play.

“Son was devastated after the action,” said Pochettino, who reiterated the club’s best wishes to Gomes.

“It was a mix of everything, it was a mix of the injury, a mix of the red card, the situation of the game it was an emotional moment for everyone.

He is in a very good way, he feels sorry like everyone, but he is in good form Mauricio Pochettino on Son Heung-min

“Now after a few days, everyone is available to play. He is in a very good way, he feels sorry like everyone, but he is in good form.”

Son will now not have to serve a three-match domestic ban after the FA said a “claim of wrongful dismissal” had been upheld.

News of the club’s successful appeal against the sending-off came just before Pochettino addressed the media in the Serbian capital and he always believed the red card would not stand.

“I was confident,” he said. “We were all confused after the game, I was talking with different people and the referee too.

“There was confusion, but now it is completely fair that in the end he is not going to be suspended.

“But we cannot change the result, playing with 10 men opened the game for them and we ended losing the two points.

“But the good news is Sonny is going to be available.”

Son is a popular member of the Spurs dressing room and Harry Kane, who has also travelled with the squad after he overcame an illness that kept him out at Everton, revealed he was waiting for his team-mate with a hug on Monday morning.

I know Sonny very well, I know what type of guy he is and I know that that sort of event would have hurt him a lot Harry Kane

“With Sonny, I saw him when I went into training on Monday morning, I gave him a little hug and I told him that it wasn’t his fault,” he said.

“Obviously I know Sonny very well, I know what type of guy he is and I know that that sort of event would have hurt him a lot.

“With the players and the manager and everyone consoling him and making sure he is all right, I think he’s started to feel a bit better.

“Of course, it’s a very unfortunate situation but he knows that he has to put it to the back of his mind and try and concentrate on the game we have.”

Tottenham will be without Jan Vertonghen, Erik Lamela (both hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (elbow) though injury in Belgrade.

Midfielders Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama and defenders Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters have not travelled.

Christian Eriksen has travelled, though, amid criticism over his recent performances.

The Denmark’s future remains uncertain as he is out of contract in the summer, but Pochettino is content with his form.

“I think the performance of Christian is no different than when we signed here five and a half years ago,” the Argentinian said. “His commitment is the same, and I am happy with him.

“Sometimes we look too much, if the player has a one-year contract or a four-year contract, in the end it’s about the commitment.

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Mauricio Pochettino spoke out in support of Christian Eriksen (Gareth Fuller/PA).

“But with Christian I am happy, you see him and compare him with different seasons he is the same player.

“This season, after the Champions League final and he played with the national team in the middle of June, he had surgery in his groin and of course the pre-season wasn’t the best pre-season for him.

“Like all of the players he needs time to get the best form, but commitment and the way he is doing, of course we expect more from everyone, we need to improve, but yes I am happy with him.”

Spurs will go a way to booking their place in the knockout stages if they can win in a stadium where Liverpool lost exactly one year ago.

PA

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