Belfast Telegraph

Son's at the double as Tottenham make it three in a row

Middlesbrough 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

By Mark Staniforth

Son Heung-min believes British fans are finally starting to see the best of him after striking twice to stretch Tottenham's Premier League winning streak to three straight games at the Riverside Stadium.

The South Korean struggled in his first season at White Hart Lane to the extent that there was talk of Mauricio Pochettino seeking to recoup some of his £22m transfer fee in the summer.

But his brilliant first-half brace to claim a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough took his season's tally to four from three games - already taking him past his total for last season's campaign. Son told Spurs' official website: "I feel very good now - I felt very good last season as well but I got injured.

"Last season was my first in the Premier League and now I want to do better. It's not finished - I look forward and will work hard every day."

Heung's increased scoring threat was particularly timely for Pochettino given the continued absence of Harry Kane, whose ankle injury will be assessed this week.

He fired a cool seventh-minute finish past Victor Valdes after picking up Vincent Janssen's neat lay-off and dribbling across the face of the box.

And he doubled Spurs' lead in the 23rd minute when he seized on hesitation in the Boro defence to turn and deliver a superb right-footed finish.

Spurs hung on comfortably despite Ben Gibson's late header to reduce the deficit, but victory could have come at a price ahead of tomorrow's Champions League trip to Moscow.

Moussa Sissoko was substituted in the 70th minute with suspected concussion and Pochettino admitted: "We will have to assess Moussa. We have some players like Erik Dier and Danny Rose who are very close to fitness, and we have to see whether will take some risks of not."

Boro boss Aitor Karanka cut a figure of frustration after his side's third straight loss, despite a much improved second half display which indicated their potential to hold their own in the top-flight.

Key in the mini revival was Adama Traore, who lent his side plenty of attacking impetus after being introduced on hour. Despite enduring a torrid introduction to the Premier League with Aston Villa last season, Karanka believes the 20-year-old Spaniard is beginning to show glimpses of his true potential.

"I know everybody will talk about Adama this week but we have to stay calm with him. His potential is huge but I have to teach him because is a young player and has to learn," he said.

"I think he can have an impact playing for 90 minutes but for now he is coming from the bench because last season was very difficult for him."

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