Football

Spurs counting on 'incredible' Son

SUNDERLAND TOTTENHAM


Dutch striker Vincent Janssen believes South Korean teammate Son Heung Min is demonstrating his growing importance to Tottenham Hotspur.

Son saved Spurs from an FA Cup embarrassment at the hands of Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday and is in contention to retain his starting spot for the English Premier League visit to bottom club Sunderland.

The 24-year-old struck twice as Mauricio Pochettino's side fought back after trailing by two goals to the League Two side, eventually scoring in added time as Spurs advance to the fifth round.

The victory brought huge relief to White Hart Lane, but the team's underwhelming display raised questions about Pochettino's claim his squad is strong enough to sustain an EPL title challenge.

The manager made nine changes to the side that started in the draw with Manchester City the previous weekend, but Janssen believes Son should be above criticism.

"If you see what Sonny has done all season, it's incredible," Janssen told the club's official website.

"He's done well in every game and he shows what he can do.

"He is working very hard as well and you can see what kind of qualities he has. He's a very good player, he's helped us all season.

Son led the attack on Saturday in the absence of Harry Kane, who was ruled out after picking up a knock against City.

The England striker is expected to be fit for the trip to the Stadium of Light, which could mean Son drops to the bench or operates in a deeper role.

Spurs are nine points behind leaders Chelsea, but are about to enter a run of 12 league games that throws up just one meeting - away at Liverpool - with one of the current top six.

Kieran Trippier injured his hip against Wycombe and joins fellow defenders Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose on the injury list.

Sunderland are rock bottom after failing to win in their last seven games as injuries begin to mount for David Moyes' squad.

Eight players are currently unavailable in what has become the Wearside club's fifth consecutive relegation fight.

Senegalese defender Papy Djilobodji starts a four-match suspension for a violent conduct charge, but Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong are back from African Nations Cup duty.

Joleon Lescott is likely to be on the bench after the free agent arrived at the Stadium of Light on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

Moyes remains confident of bringing in Bordeaux's 26-year-old German fullback Diego Contento to replace Dutch defender Patrick van Aanholt, who has joined Crystal Palace. - AFP

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