Pochettino says ‘fantastic’ Lamela can get even better

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Mauricio Pochettino says Erik Lamela is “easily” recovering his best form and can become an even better player for Tottenham.

The Argentinian forward scored his first goal of the season in a superb individual display in a 2-0 FA Cup fourth-round replay win over Newport.

Lamela returned from more than a year out with injury earlier this season and boss Pochettino hailed the player’s mentality to recover from such a difficult time in his career.

“It was great for him to score tonight and complete 90 minutes,” Pochettino said. “It’s important because he’s an important player for us.

“It was a massive problem that he was more than one year out. Never it’s easy to come back to the level of performance he was at before.

“But he is easily going to recover his previous level, or even improve, because he’s more mature.

“In a tough moment you learn a lot, no doubt. I think his mentality is fantastic.”

Lamela slotted home the second goal before half-time after a Dan Buttler own goal had put the hosts ahead, with a trip to Rochdale awaiting Spurs in the next round.

Pochettino said: “It was a professional performance. The job is done. It was an important win and important for many players to have possibility to play.”