Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart hailed the impact of team-mates Maicon and David Silva in their win over Tottenham on Sunday.
Maicon has been sidelined for much of his City career so far since joining from Inter in the summer, but appeared as a substitute as Roberto Mancini’s team came from behind to secure three points with a 2-1 victory.
Silva, meanwhile, returned to the starting line-up after injury and played the entire 90 minutes, assisting Edin Dzeko’s winning goal with a sublime chipped pass.
“It doesn’t need saying how good players they are,” Hart told the club’s official website. “We’ve not really seen what we wanted to see from Maicon this season as he’s been injured but he came on and powered down that line and made a big difference.
“As for David, it wouldn’t matter if he’d been out for a few years – he’s still the same player.”
Hart admitted that Spurs caused the hosts problems from set-piece situations, with Steven Caulker heading home Tom Huddlestone’s free kick to give Andre Villas-Boas’ team the lead.
But the England international praised City for showing the spirit and quality required to come from behind and keep pace with league leaders Manchester United.
“It was a great performance and a great win,” he said.
“I thought we were unlucky to be behind – Tottenham didn’t play how they usually play.
“They went more down the set-piece route and Tom Huddlestone put in some great deliveries and made it difficult for us. But the lads have pulled themselves back with two great goals.
“It was really tough. I thought they played really well; they made it really tough for us. They were able to change things up and that shows what a quality side they are and it’s a big win for us.
“Our spirit is never in question. We’ve got quality and that’s why we do well, with those two things combined. That makes us the team we are.”