London: Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood praised his team’s resilience after they came from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2 in the Premier League.
Spurs made a terrible start in front of their home crowd at White Hart Lane on Sunday as the Saints went two-up inside half an hour thanks to goals from England internationals Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana.
But the north London side, without a win in four matches, drew level thanks to goals either side of half-time from Christian Eriksen.
And, just when it seemed a draw was assured, substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 20-yard shot in stoppage time saw Spurs secure a victory that had Sherwood sprinting down the touchline in celebration.
“It was a massive, massive win for us,” Sherwood said. “We know we have a tough period ahead.
“On paper, they look easier games after the Liverpool one, but they’re the harder ones.
“When people come here with expectancy, let me tell you, it is harder to come from 2-0 down at home than 2-0 away from home. Unless you’ve played the game, you won’t understand,” the former England midfielder added.
“There is an expectancy but it takes real guts, character and spirit to do that and we showed that today. Brilliant.”
Eriksen revealed afterwards that Spurs had been inspired by a stern half-time speech from their boss and Sherwood said: “I can’t tell you everything — it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t ranting and raving, it was considered and it was measured what I had to say to them. I wanted to play a high-tempo game and press them high up the field and I didn’t think we had the energy to do it.
“It was quite evident and I think the European midweek games [Spurs were knocked out of the Europa League despite a creditable draw away to Benfica in the second leg of a last 16 tie in Lisbon] take their toll. We always seem to finish very well but we don’t start the games very well. Against a good side like Southampton, you’re going to get punished and 2-0 down after 28 minutes I was dreading coming to the press conference, chaps, I have to tell you.”
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino refused to blame his side for giving up a two-goal lead, preferring instead to criticise the performance of referee Anthony Taylor and his linesmen.
“It was not that we started well, I thought we had a very good game overall,” the Argentinian said. “We were 2-0 up and controlling it, especially in the first half.
“Their first goal came from a clear foul on Dejan Lovren so that should not have been allowed to stand.
“Then came the equaliser, an injury to Nathaniel Clyne as well and it was a heavy punishment for the way that we played.
“I thought that we deserved more but there were some refereeing decisions that did not go our way and, despite that, I thought we did very well against a very good Tottenham side.”