Son Heung-min was pleased to come out on the other side of a “tough few days” after he scored twice in the 4-0 Champions League win at Red Star Belgrade.
Son was a doubt for the trip to Serbia after he was left distraught when his challenge on Andre Gomes left the Everton midfielder needing surgery on a broken ankle.
But he bounced back in style in Belgrade with a double in four second-half minutes as Spurs put one foot in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a first away win since May.
He chose not to celebrate the goals, though, insisting he did not want to disrespect Gomes, who faces a long road back to fitness.
“Of course it has been a really tough few days but I have realised how lucky I am with all the support I have had from the fans and my team-mates,” Son, who has sent Gomes a personal message, said on BT Sport.
“I can say I’m really sorry for the accident and the situation but I had to focus for the team and I had to keep going and it was the right response to all the people who have supported me.
“I didn’t want to celebrate because I just want to respect the situation.
“Of course, I still feel really sorry about this situation. It’s been a few tough days.
“I wish Andre Gomes gets well soon and best wishes.”
Boss Mauricio Pochettino added: “I told you, it wasn’t a big issue. It was a problem for everyone, not only for Sonny, for everyone on the pitch.
“We feel very sorry about what happened to Andre, but he moved on quickly. We helped him to move on.
“It was a mix of everything, not only the injury, the red card, how we missed the three points.
“He moved on quick and we helped him to move on and today he scored twice and he helped the team win the three points which was the most important thing.”
It was a big call for boss Pochettino to play him, but he got his reward as Son’s double added to goals from Giovani Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen put Red Star to the sword.
The defeat was their biggest ever at home in European competition and the first time they conceded more than one goal in front of their fans in 72 matches.
It was a really positive evening for Spurs as they won away from home for the first time in 183 days and there was a real glimpse of the future as summer signings Tanguy Ndombele, Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon were all on the pitch together for the first time.
“I am very pleased,” the Argentinian manager added. “It is a very difficult place, it was a very good victory, it was fully deserved in the way that we approached it.
“I think it was fantastic, we have to keep going it is only a very, very small step. But it is a step forward.
“I am happy because Lo Celso is a very good player and his personality and character is great.
“Now he only needs time like Tanguy [Ndombele] and Ryan Sessegnon. They are so young. They arrive now to the team in difficult circumstances, not the best circumstances.
“That is why like I tell you always, I don’t expect too much, I am happy with that they provide to the team. They need time. I am happy with the players.”
Red Star, who beat Liverpool in the group stage one year ago to the day, were a shadow of that side and are facing elimination after a 9-0 aggregate drubbing over back-to-back games with Spurs.
Their coach Vladan Milojevic said: “We tried to play a different game than the one in London.
“What we wanted is to decrease the space for their players. We wanted to take the game on a different course.
“We had a chance at 0-0 and after that we were punished. Apart from the result there is a bitter taste because there is a lot of injuries. Certainly any defeat is not pleasant.”
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