Mauricio Pochettino admitted his delight at Christian Eriksen’s recent resurgence after the midfielder scored twice and set up another to help Tottenham cruise to a 3-0 victory over struggling Hull at White Hart Lane.
After their 1-1 draw against Leicester in October the Spurs boss called for improvement from the 24-year-old.
And the Denmark international has responded in recent weeks as he took his tally to five goals in four Premier League games.
Eriksen, being deployed in a deeper central midfield role on Wednesday night, could have completed his hat-trick but his free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Hull goalkeeper David Marshall before Victor Wanyama smashed home the rebound.
“I’m very pleased for his performance today,” Pochettino said of Eriksen.
“He was very aggressive in possession. That is the aggressiveness that we want for our player and I’m very pleased for him because he is working very hard to improve and I know it is important for our strikers to score goals but also for our midfield to score as well. It is good for us and the team that they start to score too.
“Maybe it looks easy because the result is 3-0 but it was difficult. At 1-0, they have a very good chance to score and in football you need to have some luck and for us in that moment it was important to be safe and not concede. It was important to get the three points and we fully deserved it.
Spurs used a 3-4-2-1 formation for the first time since the North London derby against Arsenal last month as Pochettino continues to search for his side’s best shape.
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With Mousa Dembele’s foot injury ruling him out, Spurs lacked creativity at times but the Tottenham boss feels that his players are adapting to the new systems.
“I think this season we are working hard to develop a different formation and different systems to use,” Pochettino added.
“Today we believe it was the better way to play and I’m very happy that it is working well. The first two goals arrived from very good play from our wing-backs, first Danny Rose and then Kyle Walker.
“After 3-0, the choice didn’t look very good but in football it is important to be clinical. I’m happy because the three points keep us in a good position in the table, very close to top four and in this moment we need to keep our faith and reduce the gap, if not keep the same position.”
Hull came close to an equaliser on the hour mark when former Spurs midfielder Jake Livermore was denied by the outstretched leg of Hugo Lloris following a swift counter-attack and boss Mike Phelan believes the difference in quality between the two sides made the difference.
“It’s hard for me to explain a result like that,” Phelan said.
“When you feel your team has come to Tottenham and created opportunities to score goals, not taking them and the difference is we lose the game 3-0 because of that extra bit of quality that Tottenham have at the right time.
“It is harsh but I’m staying positive and making sure the players stay as positive as they possibly can.”