Pochettino hails Spurs’ World Cup stars

Mauricio Pochettino hailed Tottenham Hotspur’s World Cup semi-finalists after shrugging off their lack of pre-season action by securing an opening day win at Newcastle United.

First half goals from Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli saw Spurs triumph 2-1 at St James’s Park, as Pochettino’s men made a winning start to the new Premier League campaign.

Spurs had nine representatives among the four World Cup semi-finalists last month, with those players only returning to training last Monday.

But five of them started the victory against the Magpies, while another, Moussa Dembele, came off the bench to help seal the three points.

“I told you that many of the players returned in a good condition,” Pochettino said.

“I was so happy about that. There were many good performances from players that were very professional during their holidays.

“I think all the squad showed their commitment with the club, with the team. We feel so proud about that.

“If you put all the circumstances together, our players deserve massive, massive credit for the victory because it wasn’t easy. They started to work on Monday and tried to prepare and start to work in the same way as the previous season.”