(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has backed striker Son Heung-min to step up in the absence of Premier League joint-top scorer Harry Kane, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Kane left the field just 10 minutes into a 6-0 FA Cup thrashing of Millwall on Sunday, but a hat-trick from Son and goals from midfielder Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and striker Vincent Janssen ensured Spurs’ progress to the semi-finals.
“I’m very happy with Son. He can play like a striker. One of our best performances was against Manchester City and he was the striker when Harry was injured,” Pochettino told British media.
“I think we have different possibilities, to play different formations. Of course I’m disappointed by Harry’s injury but now we have to find solutions and see which is the best player to replace him.”
Kane’s injury could also provide an opening for Janssen, who scored his first goal from open play against Millwall, and Pochettino believes the Dutchman could prove to be an important figure in Spurs attempt to finish the season strongly.
“In the last few months he’s stepped up and started to work better and I was happy in the way he was performing on the training ground,” Pochettino added.
“Janssen was working very hard, today was a great opportunity to score and he scored.”
Second-placed Spurs, who are 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, will host 10th-placed Southampton on Sunday.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)