Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino praised Mousa Dembele after the midfielder completed a full game for the first time in nearly two months.
Midfielder Dembele, who missed the early part of the season following an ankle injury, played 90 minutes in Spurs’ 1-1 draw at Watford.
The Belgium international also filled in at centre-back for the bulk of the second half after Davinson Sanchez was shown the red card for elbowing Richarlison in the face.
Pochettino said: “It was a fantastic performance and I’m happy. I think his fitness in last few weeks and way we handled the situation was important.
“We’re nearly all fit now – we still have Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama out. It’s important to have all the team strong for the future.”
Watford went ahead when Christian Kabasele headed home Tom Cleverley’s corner, but Heung-min Son grabbed the equaliser 12 minutes later, slotting in a cross from Christian Eriksen.
And the Spurs manager was encouraged by the way his team coped with the loss of Sanchez, battling to secure only their second point in four games.
“I am so pleased because we deserved more in last three games,” added Pochettino. “The team showed unbelievable character and personality.
“Playing 40 minutes with 10 men, we were always thinking to go forward and win the game and we didn’t concede one chance in the second half. You learn a lot from this type of situation.”