Tottenham captain Son Heung-min has backed the floodgates to open soon for team-mate Brennan Johnson after his latest crucial cameo.

Johnson’s 63rd-minute introduction helped Spurs fight back from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace 3-1 on Saturday and get their Champions League qualification hopes back on track.

It was a similar story against Brentford and Brighton earlier this year with the Welsh international beginning to flourish after his £47.5million move from Nottingham Forest in September.

Johnson scored once and laid on two assists during his first 11 appearances for the club, but his two assists against Palace mean he has six goal involvements in his last 11 outings for Ange Postecoglou’s team.

It was Johnson’s tenacity which made the leveller after he won back possession from Joachim Andersen before he got the better of Jefferson Lerma to tee up Timo Werner and he later set up Son for Spurs’ third goal.

“Strong man,” Tottenham captain Son told Spurs Play.

“That is what we need, especially the way we play. We want to play high, high intensity and who is coming from the bench has to make an impact. Brennan did and he did two amazing assists.

“I like this guy. I love this guy. I just want to help him as much as I can.

“Even when we start the game, I tell him, ‘just make sure you’re ready, you’ll make the difference. When you come on, you’ll make the difference,’ and that’s what we need.

“Brennan did a fantastic job and I just want to give him a big hug.

“The goals obviously he is missing but I am definitely sure, the way he works, working like this, the goals will come automatically, I am 100 per cent sure.”

Postecoglou echoed Son’s sentiments on Johnson, he said: “I thought Brennan was good, but I thought all of them were good.

“In those moments we work hard with our wide players to make sure they’re in the right areas and a couple of times we just weren’t when the ball was flashed across.

“Brennan did fantastically well to win back possession and when he’s played it across, it’s the other winger that’s there. From our perspective that’s a really important part because it’s not by accident.”

A slight worry for Spurs was substitute Pape Sarr seemingly in pain at full-time, but Postecoglou played down concerns.

He added: “Pape’s had a bit of a back issue since he got back from the Africa Cup of Nations. He’s been dealing with it and it’s getting better but it’s not sort of totally free, so it’s something we’re working on with him.”


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A positive for Palace was Eberechi Eze’s goalscoring return after a hamstring injury and new boss Oliver Glasner preached patience after he brought him off in the 65th-minute.


“You have to take care. We cannot afford to lose him for more weeks again, so this was the reason,” Glasner revealed.

“I think the whole of England knows Ebs is a great player and he can decide games, but also we could see he does not have the rhythm because for these 65 minutes it was not maybe his highest level.

“It is normal because he came back from an injury.

“Now we work also with him that he will be able to play 95, 100 minutes on the highest level.”

Ange Postecoglou hopes Timo Werner gains confidence after he scored to help Tottenham earn a much-needed 3-1 home win over Crystal Palace.

Spurs were set for a second consecutive defeat when Eberechi Eze curled home a sumptuous free-kick for the visitors just before the hour mark.

Werner had also been guilty of missing a glorious first-half chance but made amends when he tapped in with 77 minutes played after excellent work by Brennan Johnson to spark a late turnaround by the hosts, with Cristian Romero and captain Son Heung-min also scoring.

It was Werner’s first goal for Spurs since his January loan from RB Leipzig and also just his 11th Premier League goal in 62 appearances after a mixed spell at Chelsea but Postecoglou praised the contribution of the Germany forward.

He said: “I thought Timo, he missed the chance in the first half but he was a constant threat to them and was in the right area for the goal.

“I understand that with attacking players, goals make them feel better and make them more confident.

“I guess it relieves the pressure on them a little bit but just in general I thought he was really aggressive with his running.

“He kept taking on the full-back and I thought apart from the missed chance his general play was really good.

“A goal always helps, it was pleasing for us and it was an important time in the game. It was great for him to score.”

Tottenham struggled to break down Palace in the first half, although Werner should have scored after 19 minutes when Son sent him through but he tried to round Sam Johnstone and was thwarted.

It was the finish of a forward out of confidence and while Spurs started strongly after the break, Oliver Glasner watched his team take the lead when Eze produced a superb free-kick for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Postecoglou introduced Johnson and his tenacity created the equaliser after he robbed Joachim Andersen of possession, got the better of Jefferson Lerma and teed up Werner for a simple finish.

Three minutes later and the hosts were ahead when Romero flicked on James Maddison’s inventive cross with 80 on the clock before Son wrapped up the scoring in the 88th minute after Johnson put him clear.

“I was pleased with the whole game,” Postecoglou insisted.

“You need that goal to break open a team that is going to sit so deep. I still felt like we were putting enough work into them that at some point we would be able to break them.

“Obviously we conceded which was disappointing. You’re looking for a reaction and I thought the reaction was outstanding.

“They just had a real belief today in our processes and our football and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”

Postecoglou also attempted to clarify reports in Brazil that Richarlison may be fit enough for his country’s international fixtures with England and Spain later this month after the Spurs boss had ruled the forward out for “three-to-four” weeks with a knee injury on Friday.

He added: “We’ve still got, what, two weeks to go before then?

“I’m not a doctor, I don’t write prescriptions, I get sort of a guide and go from there.

“If he’s ready to go, he goes. If not, he’ll be with us.”

New Palace boss Glasner was disappointed his team could not hold on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but credited the effort of his players.

“Yes, I think the players did a great job over 60 to 70 minutes,” Glasner said.

“They stick to the plan and we defended really well for most of the time. Then we scored a very nice goal but to win here at Tottenham you have to be perfect over almost the whole distance of the game.

“We are disappointed because I had the feeling before the 1-1 we can win the game but then it turned and in football one situation can change the game.”

RB Leipzig boss Marco Rose has wished forward Timo Werner all the best ahead of his anticipated loan move to Tottenham.

Spurs have moved for the former Chelsea attacker to bolster their options up front, especially with captain Son Heung-min being away at the Asian Cup with South Korea for the next month.

Werner’s current club Leipzig revealed on Saturday he was not involved in their friendly with St Gallen due to transfer talks and Rose has now confirmed his imminent six-month loan to Tottenham.

Rose told Sky Germany: “It’s right that Timo wants to go on loan. Timo would like to go to the European Championship.

“We wish him all the best and are keeping our fingers crossed for him.”

Germany international Werner will return to the Premier League with unfinished business after two mixed years at Chelsea, where he scored 23 goals in 89 appearances, and would be available for Spurs’ FA Cup fourth-round tie on the weekend of January 28, with the draw set to take place on Monday.

Tottenham attacker Brennan Johnson urged his team-mates to keep building momentum after their 1-0 win over Burnley on Friday.

Pedro Porro’s 78th-minute strike eventually broke Burnley’s resistance and it made it four wins in five matches for Spurs.

Despite a plethora of unavailable players, Johnson is relishing the attacking philosophy being implemented by head coach Ange Postecoglou.

“We’re enjoying it a lot. You can tell by how we play on the pitch,” Johnson told ITV. “We want to keep progressing individually and as a team we want to keep getting better.

“Before the game, the manager said, ‘we’re in two competitions, the Premier League and FA Cup, and we’re at no point where we can slack off in this cup or play half-hearted’.

“We know even (here), we won 1-0 but it went to seven minutes of extra time and they pushed with everything.

“We have to be on it 100 per cent and play how we play every week. If we can keep building momentum in this cup and keep playing how we do in the Premier League, I think we have every chance (of winning silverware).”

It was not a completely positive night for Postecoglou, with Giovani Lo Celso forced off early and, more worryingly, Ben Davies suffering a potential hamstring injury.

While Postecoglou hoped Lo Celso’s withdrawal was “muscle fatigue,” he was more downbeat about Davies, who will be assessed over the coming days.

There was better news on Micky van de Ven, after he returned following a two-month absence with a hamstring injury only to remain an unused substitute ahead of next weekend’s trip to Manchester United.

“He’s fine. The plan was to give him some game time but the way the game was going, we needed something up front to crack them open,” Postecoglou added. “We kept him on ice but he’s trained this week, he was OK and will train fully (next week). He’s available.”

Burnley also have injury concerns ahead of hosting Luton on January 15 with Lyle Foster replaced with an unspecified issue, while Charlie Taylor hurt his shoulder.

Clarets boss Vincent Kompany explained: “We’ll see. I hope it’s not bad news.

“I can’t tell you much more, but hopefully with that little bit of extra time before the next game, we’ll have some good news.”

Ange Postecoglou has talked up Tottenham’s chances of FA Cup success and insisted he is driven by adding another trophy picture to his collection.

Spurs exited the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle in August after a penalty shoot-out loss at Fulham and face more Premier League opposition in a domestic cup on Friday night.

Burnley are the visitors in the FA Cup third round and Postecoglou, who has won silverware with South Melbourne, Brisbane Roar, Australia, Yokohama and Celtic, is eager to create new memories in England’s historic cup competition.

“From my perspective it’s an opportunity for us to try to win a competition and for a club of our stature that has to be the ambition every year, that you go into every competition with the aim and the hope of winning some silverware,” Postecoglou said.

“I love winning. It is what I have done all my career. I don’t say that dismissively and I don’t have (pictures) on the ceiling, but that’s what drives me.

“Every year I start the year hoping there is a picture by the end of the year of me with a team lifting a trophy.

“That is what I have tried to do my whole career and I have got plenty of evidence of that, so that’s what my intent is here. I don’t have to visualise it – it’s what I do.”

Postecoglou’s sentiments will be music to the ears of Tottenham supporters who have craved silverware with no trophy win since 2008.

While Spurs reached the Champions League final in 2019, their home dressing room only has pictures of club successes like the 1961 double-winning side or the eight teams who inspired FA Cup glory, most recently in 1991.

Postecoglou added: “The people who have had success at this football club are rightly honoured.

“If you walk around the home dressing room, those are the only pictures we have got up there, teams and individuals that have won things because we know how important they are to this football club.”

Spurs have been hit by more absentees this month with captain Son Heung-min away at the Asian Cup with South Korea Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma in Africa Cup of Nations action for Senegal and Mali respectively.

Postecoglou was happy to play down any controversy ahead of next weekend’s trip to Manchester United, who have been allowed to keep goalkeeper Andre Onana until that fixture, and also refuted claims these tournaments could put Tottenham off signing Asian or African players in the future.

“I don’t think it’s fair or unfair,” Postecoglou commented on Onana’s delayed link-up with Cameroon.

“Not bothered at all what other clubs do.

“We’ve got a generational player (Son) from Asia that’s been representing our club. If we lose him every four years for five weeks, I think it’s a real small price to pay.

“I love international football, I think it’s important. The tournaments they are going to now are significant tournaments.

“You’ve got to understand these guys, this is where they were brought up. This is where a lot of who they are today comes from and when they go and represent their country, it’s not just another game of football for them.

“I’m sure Sonny and Pape would have loved to have been here with us but it doesn’t diminish what they do there.”

Ange Postecoglou has written a list and checked it twice, but is still patiently waiting to discover if Father Christmas has deemed his work naughty or nice this year.

While all Tottenham and Celtic supporters’ would put the Australian in the latter category for 2023, the fanbases of Arsenal or Rangers may have differing opinions.

Yet regardless of what side of the list Postecoglou ends up on, he knows his wish for Christmas will be difficult to achieve.

With eight players already out injured and Pape Sarr, Yves Bissouma and captain Son Heung-min set to be absent for at least some of January due to international commitments, the Spurs boss would dearly love to get new signings through the door at the beginning of next month.

“I wrote my letter to Santa. Like my kids, now I’ve just got to see whether I’ve been naughty or nice and see what I get mate,” Postecoglou joked when asked about progress on additions ahead of Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

In a more serious tone, he continued: “Obviously with where we’re at injury-wise, the players we’re going to miss, we’ve got some significant games in January and signing somebody late in January could mean they haven’t been able to make an impact in those other games.


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“We’re pushing hard but you need all parties to agree to that.

“Other clubs, particularly if it’s players they want, will be wanting to hold on them for as long as possible for their own reasons through January.

“It is a challenge, I get that, but everyone at the club is working hard to get the best outcomes for us and we’ll see how it goes.”

Spurs boss Postecoglou has made clear his desire to sign a new centre-back in January and a versatile attacking player is also top of the club’s wishlist.

Son Heung-min says Dele Alli will always be part of the family and hopes his former Tottenham team-mate will not “have tough times anymore” as he looks to kick-start his career.

Things have gone awry for the 27-year-old since he helped Spurs reach the 2019 Champions League final, with the England international failing to make an impact at Everton after moving there in January 2022.

Alli recently revealed he had considered hanging up his boots in an emotional interview that saw him talk about how he was “molested” as a six-year-old and dealing drugs aged eight.

The attacking midfielder also spoke about alcohol problems, sleeping-pill addiction and addressing his mental-health issues by spending six weeks in a rehab clinic – situations he kept away from many of his nearest and dearest.

The football world has thrown its support behind Alli and he was warmly greeted at Tottenham on Saturday as he watched their 2-0 win against Manchester United, where the former Spur caught up with many of his former team-mates afterwards.

“Dele was always close, as a friend with me,” the recently appointed Tottenham skipper said.

“It was a really tough moment for him and obviously I’m always there to support him because he’s one of my closest friends.

“Christian (Eriksen), as well today. Yeah, it’s just old team-mates but I think this relationship (with Dele) is very special.

“He helped me a lot settling down in the UK when I was struggling. He was helping me a lot and is still a good friend of mine.

“It’s always good to see him and any time if he needs anything, any second, I will be always there for him. I don’t want him to have tough times anymore.”

Put to Son that it would be great if Alli could get his career back on track, he said: “We will always support him.

“Obviously it’s up to him now because he has to recover well, get fit and play well because his quality is not in doubt because he has been showing in the Premier League what he can do.

“Look, I’m always supporting him, like a member of family.”

Tottenham have launched an investigation after it was alleged Son Heung-min was racially abused by a spectator during Saturday’s match with Crystal Palace.

Footage has circulated on social media of a man in the away end at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium allegedly making a racist gesture towards Son.

The alleged incident occurred in the 89th minute of Spurs’ 1-0 win when South Korea captain Son was replaced by substitute Arnaut Danjuma but had to walk around the outside of the pitch and past the Palace travelling support.

“We are aware of an allegation of racial abuse towards Heung-Min Son during yesterday’s match,” a Tottenham statement read.

“Discrimination of any kind is abhorrent and has no place in society, our game and at our club.

“We are working with Met Police and Crystal Palace to investigate and identify the individual involved.

“We will do everything in our powers to ensure that if found guilty, the individual will receive the strongest possible action – as was the case earlier this season when Son suffered similar racial abuse at Chelsea.”

The PA news agency has contacted Crystal Palace for comment.

Tottenham supporters’ group Spurs REACH, which stands for Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage, wrote on Twitter: “Why oh, who, oh why, do adults in this day and age think that this is an acceptable way to behave towards another human being?

“We sincerely hope that Crystal Palace Football Club identify and ban this individual for life!”

Son was also racially abused during a match between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in August.

Chelsea banned a season-ticket holder indefinitely after footage emerged on social media of a fan in the home end making a racist gesture towards the Spurs attacker in the 2-2 draw.

The Crown Prosecution Service in March issued the Chelsea supporter with an order banning him from attending live football matches for three years.

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