Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham proved the power of their squad by beating CSKA Moscow with an under-strength team in the Champions League.
Spurs were without Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko in Russia but still snatched a 1-0 win thanks to Son Heung-min’s late winner.
Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier started at full-back and Victor Wanyama came into midfield, while both Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and 20-year-old Harry Winks were given rare minutes off the bench.
The victory means Tottenham climb up to second in Group E, one point behind leaders Monaco.
“Now you can see all the players are key,” Pochettino said.
“That is important to learn about the whole season because you never know when players can become key for the team.
“Maybe I am boring you about that, it is true some players play more than others, but always it is important you need all the players are ready to compete.
“Some players in specific moments, that player who has not achieved much can be important for achieving important things.”
Pochettino on Son
Son has now scored five goals in as many games this season – and three in his last two. That is an impressive return for a player who was almost sold in the summer, one year after arriving from Bayer Leverkusen.
The South Korean’s form has also minimised the impact felt by the loss of Kane, who remains out with an ankle ligament injury and could be set for at least another month on the sidelines.
“I think it is key,” Pochettino said of Son’s recent success. “It is very important that not only Harry, who was good before his injury and scored, that now another player has scored and that is very important for the team.
“I feel very pleased for Sonny. He is on fire and to keep this form is very important for us.”
Son started on the left of an attacking three but was pushed into a central role up front in the second half, as Pochettino made the bold move of replacing striker Vincent Janssen with the pace of winger Nkoudou.
The change worked, as five minutes later Erik Lamela slid through Son and he poked the ball under CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to seal a valuable three points.
“We tried to find more mobility in our offensive position,” Pochettino said. “It is for that reason we changed Vincent for Nkoudou, to have more pace down the sides.
“First touch we find the link and it was fantastic, the goal. Sometimes when you change it goes well and sometimes, no.”
Pochettino added: “To be now second in the table is very important for us. We have four games to play and everything is open.”