Tottenham striker Harry Kane believes his side’s gritty win over Southampton shows their character.
Spurs’ unity and team spirit has been questioned by boss Mauricio Pochettino in recent weeks after a turbulent summer where a host of players had doubts over their future.
But they proved it might be coming back after producing a 2-1 win in testing circumstances against the Saints.
After Tanguy Ndombele’s early opener they were reduced to 10 men when Serge Aurier picked up two bookings in four minutes before a shocking gaffe from Hugo Lloris gifted Danny Ings a leveller.
Spurs could have sunk given their recent troubles, but they rallied and Kane put them back in front before a fine rearguard action saw them hold on to win a vital three points.
“It was [a massive result],” Kane said. “Obviously we have had a couple of disappointing results recently, and going down to 10 men after 30 or 40 minutes, whatever it was, it was tough.
“Then when Southampton got their goal, we dug deep and got our goal before half-time, and in the second half we worked hard and got that win.
“Absolutely, it showed the character of the team. We’re going through a tough spell, but we put everything out on the pitch and I think we deserved the victory.
“It is never easy playing with 10 men, so to score again after they equalised was great.
“Then we had the whole of the second half, and that is what a good win feels like.”
Aurier was dismissed for two fouls in quick succession both saw referee Graham Scott reaching for his pocket, but Pochettino felt both yellow cards were harsh.
He said: “For me it was completely unfair, but it is for me now to talk because I watched the two actions.
“Completely unfair, but I am not blaming the referee. This type of action happens, today it was against us.
“When I watched the two actions, both were not yellow cards. I can say now after we got the three points, but with a different result I would say the same and be honest. It wasn’t a sending-off.”
Southampton had a spell of pressure after the break, but they did not do enough to deserve an equaliser.
Their preparations were not helped by the withdrawal of Cedric before kick-off due to an injury.
Jannik Vestergaard replaced him in the starting XI, but boss Ralph Hassenhuttl admits he does not know what was wrong with Cedric.
Hassenhuttl said: “I don’t know when it happened, it’s not perfect to start a game when you make changes half an hour before kick-off.
“You prepare everything and then he walks out on the pitch and says he cannot train, I don’t know what happens, it’s not the best preparation.
“I don’t know what happened, I haven’t spoken to him yet but I will.”
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