herald

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Poch says Son is in a 'good way' as red card overturned

Champions League, Belgrade v Tottenham (Virgin Sport/BT Sport 2, 8.0)

Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min
Christian Eriksen

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min is in a "good way" following his involvement in Andre Gomes' horror injury.

The South Korean was visibly distraught after his tackle during Spurs' 1-1 draw with Everton left Gomes needing surgery on a broken and dislocated ankle.

He received a red card from referee Martin Atkinson, which has since been overturned by the English Football Association on appeal, and needed support from his club on Monday.

That led to some doubt over whether he would travel with Spurs to Serbia for their crunch Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday, but he joined the squad and looks set to play.

"Son was devastated after the action," said Pochettino, who reiterated the club's best wishes to Gomes.

"It was a mix of everything, it was a mix of the injury, a mix of the red card, the situation of the game, it was an emotional moment for everyone. Now after a few days, everyone is available to play. He is in a very good way, he feels sorry like everyone, but he is in good form."

Son will now not have to serve a three-match domestic ban after the FA said a "claim of wrongful dismissal" had been upheld.

News of the club's successful appeal against the sending-off came just before Pochettino addressed the media in the Serbian capital and he always believed the red card would not stand.

"I was confident," he said. "We were all confused after the game, I was talking with different people and the referee too.

"There was confusion, but now it is completely fair that in the end he is not going to be suspended.

"But we cannot change the result, playing with 10 men opened the game for them and we ended losing the two points.

"But the good news is Sonny is going to be available."

Harry Kane has also travelled with the squad after he overcame an illness that kept him out at Everton, but Jan Vertonghen, Erik Lamela (both hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (elbow) are injured.

Christian Eriksen has travelled, though, amid criticism over his recent performances.

The Denmark's future remains uncertain as he is out of contract in the summer.

"I think the performance of Christian is no different than when we signed here five and a half years ago," said Pochettino.

"This season, after the Champions League final and he played with the national team in the middle of June, he had surgery in his groin and of course the pre-season wasn't the best pre-season for him.

"Like all of the players he needs time to get the best form, but commitment and the way he is doing, of course we expect more from everyone, we need to improve, but yes I am happy with him."

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