Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has hailed his side as “heroes” following their 3-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 first leg of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Son Heung-min, Jan Vertonghen and substitute Fernando Llorente scored for Spurs to give them a vital three goal lead going into the second leg, with the win all the more impressive considering that they were missing striker Harry Kane and midfielder Dele Alli due to injury, Vertonghen was deployed out of position at left wing-back because of the absences of Danny Rose and Ben Davies.
“With all the circumstances we have, the team is fighting, the team is getting results. I feel so proud for that. My players are heroes. They deserve full credit, a lot of praise because the effort they are doing this season is amazing,” Pochettino said as quoted by BT Sport.
❌ No signings in two transfer windows.
❌ Stadium not ready yet.
❌ Harry Kane and Dele Alli injured.
✅ Still in the title race
✅ 3-0 up against Dortmund in the Champions League last 16
Mauricio Pochettino, mate. 👏 pic.twitter.com/a6cfWADTfm
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) February 13, 2019
Despite the vital lead, the Argentinian believes that they are still not assured of a place in the quarter-final stage and will need to produce another impressive performance in the return leg.
“It’s only the first leg, it’s only the first half of the tie – 3-0 is a very good result but when you have a team like Borussia Dortmund, always you need to respect and we need to think that we need to go to Dortmund with the idea to win. We are happy now but still a lot of work to do.”
Spurs have a couple of important games in the Premier League coming up, before the second leg, with the north London club set to face Chelsea and Arsenal in the Premier League as they move to the business end of the season.