Pochettino happy Tottenham fans are starting to recognise Sissoko’s value

PUBLISHED: 20:00 20 October 2018

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Spurs manager admitted his team suffered ‘a little bit more’ than he would have liked during today’s derby with West Ham

West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic (right) and Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic (right) and Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to see Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko get some recognition after today’s 1-0 win at West Ham United in the Premier League.

The Frenchman has been much maligned since he joined Tottenham Hotspur on August 31 2016 from Newcastle United for a hefty price tag.

Spurs shelled out £30 million for Sissoko and on numerous occasions it has seemed a large amount for a player who doesn’t regularly contribute goals and assists.

Yet during his last three starts - today, Cardiff City and Watford- the busy midfielder has caught the eye with his energy and driving runs and against the Hammers he provided the assist for Erik Lamela’s matchwinning header.

Pochettino was asked about the applause Sissoko received from the travelling fans at the London Stadium, he said: “He’s a very honest, professional player and you know what you are going to receive from him.

“I think in the squad, always in 25 players, you need different types of players and I think Moussa provides the team with a very good balance.

“I am happy that the fans are starting to see him like a player who helps the team and helps the club and recognise his value.

“Of course, we cannot ask him to do different things, or things we can ask of another player, but he will always give you all that he has inside and that is very good for the team. I am so happy, so happy the fans start to recognise his value.”

Sissoko’s fine play out wide proved key during the derby between Spurs and rivals West Ham.

He cut inside in the 44th minute and curled in for Lamela to head home his fifth goal from his last seven appearances for Tottenham.

The Lilywhites captain Hugo Lloris was called into action on a few occasion, however, and made two vital saves to deny Marko Arnautovic at the start and end of the second period.

Pochettino added: “In the first half we were better than West Ham. I think always when it’s a derby it’s so competitive and such an emotional game.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere, but I think in the first half maybe we deserved to get to half time with one or maybe two more goals.

“It’s true that when it was 1-0 in the second half, West Ham pushed the lines and were very, very aggressive and so competitive, and of course in the end we suffered a little bit, but Hugo was fantastic.

“If I am really honest, of course it was an amazing victory for us and three points that keep us in a very good position, and I have to congratulate the players because the effort was fantastic, but West Ham were very good in the second half and made us suffer a little bit more than I would have liked.”

Still, after nine league matches, Tottenham have 21 points to their name having won seven times already this season.

Pochettino did reveal though, the club will try to improve the squad when the transfer window opens again in January.

He said: “Now it will come in January and we are going to try to sign and then, if it is not possible, we are going to tell you it was impossible to sign.

“But I think, not only us, all the clubs and managers want to sign players and want to refresh the squad. I think it is necessary.

“If you ask me I am happy, I am happy because of the result, but I think you cannot play with destiny and you need to do the things properly.

“I don’t want to say that it is not doing things properly not to sign, but I think we need to try again in January or in the summer to try and sign and try to refresh the squad if we want to move on the team and the club.”

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