Mauricio Pochettino hesitant to praise Lucas Moura after his match-winning performance
Tottenham Hotspur outclassed Manchester United at Old Trafford despite not being the better team for the first 45 minutes of the game. And at the centre of their tremendous accomplishment at United's home ground was 26-year-old January signing Lucas Moura.
The Brazilian, who arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in January for £26 million, scored a brace and put the game to bed and added to the Jose Mourinho's misery.
Mauricio Pochettino has always championed a team-first approach and has always been reluctant to single his players out and hail them or deride them.
For Lucas Moura, getting Pochettino's approval has been quite a difficult task as he has constantly been asked to bring more to the table. And against Jose Mourinho's men, he did.
After the match, Mauricio Pochettino was asked by Football London if he thought that Lucas Moura has finally come good and earned his approval.
"Yes, he is going to receive much praise now. But for me, I want to mention our chief scout Steve Hitchen and all the people that worked with him, because they advised to sign him."
Pochettino took it as an opportunity to hail his scouting staff for signing the player instead and replied,
"When the people sometimes criticise because always it is tough now, I think I need to say well done, because today's performance from Lucas Moura, for the people that advised and feel responsible too, they need to be praised too. That is why I want to congratulate them. There are always people who are working behind [the scenes] and it was a fantastic job because today I think Lucas deserves a lot of credit."
But on being nudged in that direction again, Pochettino finally afforded words of praise to Lucas Moura and said,
"It's easy to say now it was fantastic the improvement. Of course, that is another example that when the player arrives in the middle of the season it's not easy to get them to good performances."
"He is showing his quality. I am so happy, he's a great guy and he brought the team different skills, different alternatives and the most important thing is to find a different place to how he was finding it in Paris last year. I think it's to find the best place to help him to perform in the way that we want."
It looks like Lucas Moura will have a huge role to play for the Lilywhites if he can keep this up.