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'Harry needed to cry... we have to recognise academy people' - Mauricio

Posted on 21 November 2016  - 12:34

Tears of joy were shed after Harry Winks’ dream moment against West Ham – and Mauricio Pochettino was quick to praise our academy staff after their work paid off once more in such emotional circumstances.

Harry Winks celebrates his goal with MauricioCameron Carter-Vickers, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen join in the celebrations

Home-grown midfielder Harry became the latest youngster to make an impact at senior level when he marked his first Premier League start with a goal in Saturday’s sensational 3-2 victory over the Hammers at White Hart Lane.

Full of excitement, the 20-year-old immediately raced over to the touchline and leapt into the arms of Mauricio in celebration – a great scene during what certainly transpired to be a particularly memorable game!

Reflecting on the impact of another ‘one of our own’, Mauricio highlighted the work of our academy staff over a long period of time as being key to the development of Harry and his fellow starlets at the club.

Asked about Harry’s goal, which made it 1-1, Mauricio replied with a smile: “Brilliant, brilliant. It was an emotional moment for him and for us because after two-and-a-half years working here, we believe in him and it’s fantastic. Today, he paid it all back.

“We also have to recognise all the people in the academy – many coaches, many people working for that dream of all players. That’s why it is fantastic. The players coming through the academy show passion and that is our identity. It’s fantastic when you can see Harry Winks scored and needed to cry, needed to cry after in the changing room.

“It’s a priceless moment and we need to create more and push more in the future. We need to congratulate the people in the academy because the work they are doing is fantastic from a long time ago.”

Mauricio did emphasise, however, that progressing from the academy to first team football is not a given, insisting that hard work on everyone’s part is essential.

“We need to be clever,” he said. “Maybe not all the players have the quality to play but if they have the quality, why not give them the opportunity to play? It’s fantastic because at Tottenham it’s not just about bringing players from all countries or leagues, it’s important to give the opportunity to our youngsters too.”