London, United Kingdom, Aug 21- Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham Hotspur can now start looking forward after a first victory of the campaign helped draw a line under the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League title last season.
The north London club’s challenge fell away last term with Pochettino’s side eventually finishing third after pushing champions Leicester City until the closing weeks.
After an opening-day draw at Everton, they secured their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
“I think it’s very important to recover this feeling because the end of the season was hard and was tough,” said the 44-year-old Argentinian.
“But today was good to forget last season now, to look forward. This is a different season, I am very happy with this squad.”
A first goal for Victor Wanyama since his summer move from Southampton secured the win.
Pochettino praised the Kenyan midfield enforcer’s home debut, as well as that of Dutch striker Vincent Janssen who was also making his first appearance at White Hart Lane.
“I am very happy with victory because I was a player, and I know it is very important to score and feel the love from your supporters, like Vincent as well today,” said Pochettino, the former Argentine international centre-back who numbered Espanyol and Paris Saint-Germain among his clubs.
“He can feel the love from our supporters. This is fantastic to help them, to be in a good place. I am very happy for them. They showed it’s very good for the future of the team.”
– ‘Good combination’ –
Janssen’s inclusion up front meant Harry Kane did not have to shoulder the responsibility of being the lone striker and Pochettino believes the pairing will add a new dimension to Tottenham’s play this season.
“Since I arrived here I have wanted Harry Kane to play with another striker,” said Pochettino, who dropped Dele Alli to the bench to accommodate the move.
“You can see Harry was more fit, he had a lot of chances to score and shoot, more than at Everton.
“And I think it was a good combination and it’s an important option to play for the future. It’s good to have these options.
“If we want to play with two strikers, it’s impossible to play with Dele with the players we have.
“He was ill during the week and didn’t train on Tuesday and Wednesday. But this is normal, he came from the Euros so we have to look after him. And this was a good opportunity to see the two strikers.”
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew completed the signing of striker Christian Benteke from Liverpool before the game and believes this was precisely the kind of game when the Belgium international would make his presence felt.
“We had a bit more verve, a bit more industry. After half-time we had a great spell,” said Pardew.
“And when you come to places like Tottenham you have to score in that spell.
“And that’s the issue this team have. The signing of Christian of course is to try and address that and maybe one more in.
“There is one thing that always impressed me about him was he gets the goals as you expect and now and again the rabbit out of the hat with a goal. And that’s just something we need and needed today.
“Just one moment will have changed the course of this game and maybe in that 20-minute period he could have done something for us today.
“I thought Connor Wickham was excellent for us today and his reaction to Christian’s arrival spoke volumes about his character and there will be an opportunity maybe to play the both of them which will be a different look for us.”