'All players should feel very important': Pochettino hails Tottenham squad after Watford thrashing

Tony Mogan
Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was delighted to welcome Harry Kane back from injury, but stressed Saturday's thumping win over Watford underlined the collective strength of his side.

Kane had been sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in the FA Cup quarter-final victory over Millwall in March but returned to first-team training this week.

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He was named among Pochettino's substitutes on Saturday (8 April) afternoon, but Spurs managed to cope without their talismanic striker once again, finding the back of the net three times before half-time.

Dele Alli opened the scoring with a wonderful curling effort after 33 minutes with Eric Dier drilling home a second six minutes later. Son Heung-min added a third just before half-time and netted another 10 minutes into the second-half.

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Kane was brought off the bench with half an hour remaining to replace the misfiring Vincent Janssen and had opportunities to add to the score line himself. The 23-year-old unselfishly passed up a one-on-one with Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to try and set up Son for a hat-trick, before he was denied by the cross bar in injury time after a wonderful free-kick.

Kane's return boosts Tottenham's lingering hopes of halting Chelsea's Premier League title march, but Pochettino believes Saturday's performance further exemplified Tottenham's strength as a unit more than anything else.

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"I think we will be more strong and today we are more strong with him [Kane] healthy and ready to fight again on the team. That is very important," Pochettino said post-match, football.london report.

He continued: "All the players should feel very important during the season. I think today is a very good example here of trying to change that mentality. It is not about who plays, it is about playing for Tottenham at every opportunity. Of course, the fans want to know what happens with different players but football today is going in a completely different direction than it was maybe 10 or 15 years ago.

"Today it is a collective matter, more than before. If you don't show a strong mentality in 24, 25 players then you will not be able to rotate and give opportunities to others and they don't feel like an important part of the project, then it is difficult to win titles."

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