Mauricio Pochettino praised man of the match Heung-Min Son after Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over Sunderland, admitting the forward wanted to leave the club before the season.

The South Korean was instrumental in the victory which takes Spurs third in the league, giving right-back Jason Denayer twisted blood and striking the post in the first half.

Manager Pochettino admitted it has been tough for Son, who was substituted at half time in the mid-week Champions League loss to Monaco, but hoped fans would now see him at his best.

He said: “For him it has been tough because last season was tough, he came to me in the summer and said ‘Gaffer, I need your help’.

““When he came back from the Olympics his idea was to leave, to go to Germany. But it is the club’s decision. In his mind he wants to move, but in the end he stays and fights for his place.

“He is a very quiet person, very nice, but you need to fight for your place, he understands that. On the training ground, it is not about names, it is about performances, and he has impressed me.

“I’m happy for him, his first season was very tough, but today his performance was fantastic.”

Pochettino also addressed the injuries players suffered in the game, with Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier all being forced off.

He revealed, while Dembele and Dier only had cramp, there is more concern over goal scorer Kane, who left on a stretcher and will need a scan on his ankle tomorrow.

He said: “Harry we will assess tomorrow; you could see from the TV it was tough.

“He twisted the ankle, he feels in pain, but we will see tomorrow. It’s difficult to assess and give an opinion before the scan.

“It is difficult without Harry Kane, but that is why we signed Vincent Janssen, he is a striker who can give us a lot of things. This is why you sign players, for these moments when you need them.

“I think it is a good result, for the chances we created it is difficult to understand why we only won 1-0. But I’m happy with performance and attitude from first minute, and that’s how we have to play every game.”