Without a goal in four games, two-nil down — fortune was one thing that did not appear to be smiling on Spurs until Rufus’ intervention, even though the team was playing well and perhaps did not deserve to be behind.
The crucial deflection was the catalyst for a Spurs onslaught —a welcome one at that — and Leo admitted: "It was so important to get the first goal." And on the subject of turning points, all our waspish midfielder would say is: "Hopefully. The only thing we can do is answer the critics on the pitch and hopefully we can do it again."
While the first goal set the amazing comeback in motion, Leo’s own contribution to the goal tally - a rasping drive into the bottom corner on the run - should not go without a mention.
The modest Norwegian, recently returned from a lengthy injury absence, commented: "It was nice to score and it was nice to win. It’s my first goal since my injury. It’s taken me some time to get back into form, but I feel I’m getting stronger and stronger every game.
I feel close to 100 per cent. I can play better. I am getting there and it’s taken a long time, but it is not easy after injury to come back to full fitness straight away. I feel I’m nearly there.
Leo revealed that the team remained confident of overcoming the Charlton challenge, even when they found themselves a goal behind.
"It was difficult you know. In the first half we went 1-0 down and I felt we had the most chances. We still felt we could do it, we came out for the second half and they scored again — then it was really difficult.
"As soon as we got the first goal we started to believe and we showed what we can do. It gave us a lot of confidence and I thought we played really well in the end.
Spurs Lodge was a happy place on Thursday as the team prepared for a tough trip to Manchester City on Saturday with an added spring in their step.
"Yes, it’s a good day for us and hopefully we’ll get more of these days. Manchester City will be another hard game. I haven’t followed them much, but it’s always hard to play them — particularly up there.
"It has been a hard programme recently, three hard games, but we will be ready for Saturday."
By Richard Hubbard
Oyvind Leonhardsen refused to be drawn when asked if Richard Rufus’ own goal from Gary Doherty's drive could prove to be a turning point in our season’s fortunes.