Mauricio Pochettino described Premier League schedule changes as “a massive disadvantage” to his Tottenham side after they won for the second time in four days with a Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund looming on the horizon.
Son Heung-min’s second goal in as many games earned Spurs a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United that moved them up to second in the table, just four points behind leaders Liverpool.
While he gave his players credit for showing the character to force a result against a resurgent Newcastle side, Pochettino also took the opportunity to voice his feelings about having to play Leicester City on Sunday afternoon, just four days before the first leg of his side’s round-of-16 clash with Dortmund.
Asked whether his side can still win the Premier League, Pochettino told Sky Sports: “In football all is possible, anything can happen.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 2, 2019
“The most important thing is to be ready for next Sunday. It’s hard for me to understand why we are going to play at 4pm on Sunday ahead of the game with Dortmund on Wednesday.
“They [Dortmund] are playing on the Saturday. I’m not complaining but 24 hour is a massive disadvantage at a decisive point in the Champions League.”
Son’s winning goal against Newcastle took his Premier League tally for the season to 10, including two since he returned from international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup.
Pochettino hailed the 26-year-old’s continual improvement since his arrival at Spurs from Bayer Leverkusen in August 2015, saying: “He is a player who has done fantastically for us in the last couple of years.
“His performance and the way he has belief is a key part of the success [against Newcastle].
“It’s always difficult for a player who came from outside England to adapt. Sometimes you have patience with the player, sometimes not. He was a kid who wanted to play and the club has helped him show his quality.
“At some point he started to feel the love of everyone and showed his real quality.”
Son admitted that his exploits in South Korea’s run to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup had left him drained, but he has no regrets after scoring in wins over Watford and Newcastle.
“Of course I’m tired but the two games were very important,” he said.
“With six points we had a great week. We’re very happy and we deserved this win.
“My team-mates give me such confidence. It was one of my dreams to play in the Premier League and I really enjoy every second.
“I’ll try to do even better than last season.”
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