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English Premier League

Three and easy for Spurs’ as Pochettino’s formation change pays off

Eriksen and Wanyama score in comfortable win over Hull to remain unbeaten at home

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 December, 2016, 9:51am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 December, 2016, 8:52pm

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed his change of system after his side beat Hull City 3-0 to remain unbeaten on home soil in the Premier League this term.

Two goals from Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen and one for Victor Wanyama at White Hart Lane on Wednesday ensured Spurs bounced back from defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.

Pochettino intriguingly opted to play three at the back, with Eric Dier drafted into a 3-3-3-1 formation not dissimilar to the system employed by Antonio Conte at leaders Chelsea.

“This season we were working hard on a different formation to provide the team with a different solution,” said Pochettino, whose side continue to trail Chelsea by 10 points in fifth place.

“Today we believed that was the way to play. I was very happy. It worked well.

“The first two goals came because of good work by our full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose. They were higher and used like wing-backs.

“It was important to try and move the ball quick. It’s important to be clinical. The three points keep us in a very good position. We need to keep our faith and reduce the gap.

“For different reasons we feel comfortable here. We lost to Chelsea and Manchester United, but are playing well.

“It’s important to take a good result. We need to work hard to try and keep that feeling.”

Pochettino did concede his side did not always find it easy despite Eriksen’s early goal and admits lady luck shone on Tottenham.

“It was difficult at 1-0,” he said. “They had a very good chance to score and in football sometimes you need some luck and in that moment it was important to be safe and not concede.

“The three points is important. We fully deserved the result, but can struggle during the game.

“I’m very pleased with Christian’s performance. He was very aggressive, his run for the second goal.

“I’m very pleased for him. He is working hard to improve. It’s good for us and for the team.”

Hull remain in the bottom three after a sixth straight away defeat.

Their manager Mike Phelan felt the scoreline was harsh on his side, but was pleased with the recent improvement shown in their level of play.

“It’s hard for me to try and explain a result like that when you feel as if your team has come to Tottenham and created opportunities,” he said. “They had the extra quality at the right time.

“It’s harsh, but I’m staying as positive as I can. We did not just lay down, we were value for money.

“What I was really pleased with was we created chances. I never felt we were out of the game. But we did not find the back of the net.

“The quality came through at the end for Tottenham. Before you know it, you are 3-0 down, wondering why.

“We are getting closer and closer. Those chances are coming. Times when they don’t go in, they get a bit down and disappointed, but we have to look ahead and keep our belief in what we are doing.”