Lamela praised by Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, pictured, has backed Erik Lamela to go far

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, pictured, has backed Erik Lamela to go far

First published in National Sport News © by

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.

It was a miserable start to life at White Hart Lane for the man billed as Gareth Bale's heir, but there are at last signs that the Argentinian could fulfil his potential with the north Londoners.

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 an unlikely 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."

Lamela twice came close to capping his impressive display with a goal in the closing stages and is in line to start Sunday's match with QPR.

It is a match in which Spurs will need a much improved performance to secure a positive result, with Pochettino suggesting complacency may have inadvertently slipped in at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium.

"I think it was a very tough game, a difficult game, a hard game because the conditions were difficult and the weather was difficult," he said, referring to the bobbly, cut-up pitch and temperatures in the 30s.

"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, on Sunday.

"We created two or three chances in the first seven minutes. I think it's true that we believed that it would be an easy game, but we knew when we watched their game against Zenit, Limassol won the game 1-0, that they have a very good team.

"In the second half we started the game, I think we restarted the game in the second half and I'm very satisfied after the game."

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