Pochettino: Hat-trick will give Moura confidence ahead of ‘very tough period’
The Brazilian scored a treble in the 4-0 win over Huddersfield.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino hopes Lucas Moura’s hat-trick in the 4-0 win against Huddersfield can inspire him to fill the void left by Harry Kane.
Moura created a slice of history by becoming the first man to score a treble in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the Brazilian celebrated on the pitch with his son after the game.
Victor Wanyama put the hosts on the way to a comfortable win as they strengthened their Premier League top-four hopes with a third win from three at their new home.
Talisman Kane looks like missing the rest of the season with an ankle ligament injury suffered in the Champions League win over Manchester City in midweek.
Everyone expected Son Heung-min to be the man to step into the limelight in Kane’s absence, but with the South Korean named on the bench, it was Moura who did the damage with a first hat-trick in European football.
“Football moves so quick and after the game when Harry got injured everyone believed Sonny was going to step up and is going to be the man, but we have seen today Lucas got a hat-trick and it was an unbelievable afternoon for him,” Pochettino said.
I am so happy, the performance was very professional, I am happy for Lucas for his hat-trick. Mauricio Pochettino
“Players need to have the possibility to play to show the quality and that is why sometimes all the managers are disappointed when the people say about rotation, about selection of the starting XI.
“I am so happy, the performance was very professional, I am happy for Lucas for his hat-trick.
“It is going to help and bring him confidence. We have ahead a very tough period, two games against Manchester City and then Brighton.
“It is going to be tough, we need all the players fit. And with confidence it is going to be better if we feel we have the capacity to perform the way we want and get close to achieving all the things we plan.”
Pochettino made seven changes to his side against already-relegated Huddersfield, with Dele Alli and Harry Winks, along with Kane, missing out through injury.
Alli has a broken hand while Winks aggravated a groin problem in training on Friday and Pochettino is sweating on both men’s fitness for the Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
“We’ll see because we are not sure,” Pochettino said on Alli. “He is doing some training sessions with protection, he needs to feel comfortable.
“It is a little bit painful because he broke his hand in two different places. It all depends on the time, we will see if we arrive in a position where he is comfortable to play.”
On Winks’ injury, he added: “It’s the same as in the past. He’s a player we need to assess, and then after tomorrow take a decision. It’s a similar situation, it’s not a big issue but it’s an issue that maybe won’t allow him to play or not be in condition to play Wednesday.
“We need to assess. We are optimistic, but you know there is doubt.”
For Huddersfield, who saw Juninho Bacuna’s free-kick tipped onto the crossbar, this was their 19th defeat in 21 matches as they count down the games until their Premier League journey ends.
Head coach Jan Siewert, who has lost all but one of his matches in charge, said: “When you are so brave, away at Tottenham, until the end, and you have three good possibilities to score, to be the first away team who could score here, it makes me proud in a way.
“But still, a lot of our mistakes, a lot of our individual mistakes [from which] they scored goals today.
“We knew that the qualities that shine in Tottenham, that you can’t defend everything. So I’m in a way disappointed, because the result doesn’t reflect the way we played today, at all.”