Stellini: Picking right moment to bring on 'amazing' Son killed the game off
Picking the right time to bring Son Heung-min off the bench allowed Tottenham to kill the game off against West Ham, according to stand-in boss Cristian Stellini.
Son was benched for Sunday's 2-0 victory, as Spurs battled through not having Antonio Conte on the touchline to see off their London rivals and move into the top four of the Premier League.
Richarlison was preferred to Son in the starting XI, but after Emerson Royal had given Spurs the lead, the South Korea international came off the bench to slot home a second and boost his side's top-four hopes.
Son has now scored four goals as a substitute in the Premier League this season, twice as many as any other player, despite only making two appearances off the bench.
Deputising for Conte, who is back in Italy recovering from emergency gallbladder surgery earlier this month, Stellini feels choosing the right time to introduce Son helped Spurs to put the game to bed as he punished the space the Hammers left while pursuing an equaliser.
"Son stayed on the bench, the moment was important," Stellini told Sky Sports. "And it was the moment for Son.
"With the space, Son is an amazing player and we try to use him in this way. It was a good idea.
"Son has a goal so we are happy for him. He has to stay calm and produce his best performance.
"At the moment he is not 100 per cent so we have to manage him."
While he was frustrated with starting on the bench, Son understood the decision and was delighted to come on and help his team, saying: "Nobody wants to sit on the bench but it's a decision you to have accept.
"The pass was really good and my first touch helped to make the goal.
"I tried my best to help the team. I got the chance and I was happy to score."
After Stellini took charge of the 1-0 victory over Manchester City, Conte returned from his surgery for the defeats at Leicester City and Milan. However, the former Chelsea boss returned to Italy to recover further having "underestimated the procedure."
Son praised the work Stellini and his fellow coaches had undertaken in Conte's absence, stating: "If he's [Conte] not here, it's really sad. Sometimes we forget football is not the most important thing. We hope that the gaffer is coming as soon as possible.
"The coaching staff did an amazing job and gave us really good confidence and tactics."
Conte still has an influence on proceedings even in his absence, with Stellini explaining: "Conte sent some texts to the bench and they transferred it to me.
"He is good, he is fine and can be involved in the game so that is fine. Sometimes I want to do things and I ask him and he allows me.
"[It is a] big responsibility but with the responsibility, you have to grow a bit.
"I'm happy because I have Ryan Mason with me to help me a lot and all the staff work hard and we push ourselves in another level to try and cover the gap."