Heung-min Son felt ‘responsible’ to step in for Tottenham, says Cristian Stellini after FA Cup double
Son’s superb second-half brace helped Spurs to a 3-0 victory at Deepdale and in the fifth round, with debutant Arnaut Danjuma also on the scoresheet.
Last season’s Golden Boot winner has already found the net in just three matches during a miserable campaign but, with Kane rested for the first time this season, Son put in one of his best performances since months.
“We could feel that responsibility on Sonny’s part and, without Harry, he was the most important striker for us,” said Stellini, Antonio Conte’s assistant, who took over post-match media duties.
“We played with [Ivan] perisic [as an auxiliary striker and] not in his ideal position so Sonny was important to find a way to score and let the team win. Absolutely it will be big for his confidence. He is a high level player. He just has to wait for the right moment and feel comfortable to find the space to attack and play one-on-one and tonight was a good game for him.”
Dutch striker Danjuma joined Spurs on loan from Villarreal within the week and came off the bench to play up front for the final 20 minutes, finishing well to score on his debut with Spurs’ third goal of the evening.
“It was a good start for him to score in his first game,” Stellini said of the substitute. “We are looking forward to working with him, we have to discover this guy, he can play many positions in the front three. We are happy for that but I also want to mention the back three because they played a very good good game. Sanchez was captain, it was a good game for Patron and the three at the back.”
Conte has made seven changes since winning against Fulham on Monday night, with Davinson Sanchez captaining the team and a completely different full-back.
“It’s important. It’s important because we’ve talked a lot about changing mentality and what it means to change mentality is really important to have players who haven’t played the last game and if we bring changes, the result is the same,” Stellini said.
“For Antonio it’s very important to have a team and a group where every player plays at the same level and nothing changes if you make changes. It’s a good starting point because we have a tough schedule and a lot of games to play, with games every three days and we have to have the confidence to make changes.
“We are happy because we started the game as we expected from the team. We made some changes but nothing has changed since the last performance, so we have to be happy for that. We have created a comfortable second half because we played a great first half and the ball moved quickly, we just have to wait for the right moment to find the solution like Sonny did. was a great performance.
Nearly 6,000 Spurs supporters chanted particularly loudly for former player Sol Campbell following a newspaper interview in which he called for an end to the abuse.
“Honestly, I haven’t heard that,” Stellini said. “I now find out what you said. It’s not for me to comment on that, but I hope it never happens again.”