Mauricio Pochettino said Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace was important to help the team banish memories of their hugely disappointing end to last season.
Spurs struggled to convert chances for much of Saturday’s contest at White Hart Lane, but took maximum points as Victor Wanyama marked his home debut with the winner eight minutes from time.
The victory ended a run of five games without a win – last season having ended with a 5-1 hammering at the hands of relegated Newcastle United as Tottenham missed out on the title and dropped to third behind north London rivals Arsenal.
And speaking at a post-match media conference, Pochettino said: “I think it’s very important now to recover this feeling [of winning] because the end of the season was hard, was tough.
“Today was good to forget last season, to look forward. I’m very pleased with the performance of all the squad.”
Harry Kane played in a slightly unfamiliar role in behind the striker as Vincent Janssen was handed his full debut up front.
“It’s a position he’s played a lot. You can see Harry was more free, he had a lot of chances to score, more than in the whole game at Everton,” Pochettino added.
“It was a very good combination, I’m very happy with the performance of Vincent and him. It’s one option we have, it’s good to have many options like this.”
Janssen missed a number of chances to open the scoring before Wanyama finally broke the deadlock, but Pochettino was not worried by the Dutchman’s profligate showing.
He said: “It was the same last season with Harry. I am worried when it’s impossible for them to have chances to score, when you have a lot of chances to score it’s about luck or being more clinical.
“He showed a very good energy, he played well.”
Dele Alli was not introduced until the 68th minute and, explaining his absence from the starting XI, Pochettino commented: “Dele Alli was ill during the week, Tuesday and Wednesday he didn’t train but it’s normal.
“We need to be careful to try to avoid problems in the future. It was a good opportunity to see Harry and Vincent, it’s a natural decision. Dele Alli is a great player and I’m sure he will be a very important player for us this season.”