Tottenham assistant Cristian Stellini insists they will go into next week’s north London derby with Arsenal in a “good moment” after Spurs made it back-to-back wins with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Portsmouth.
Harry Kane settled Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie with a trademark finish five minutes into the second half to move within one goal of Jimmy Greaves’ record tally of 266 for Spurs.
A week on from being booed off after defeat to Aston Villa, where chants were aimed at chairman Daniel Levy, spirits appear to be lifted at Tottenham after the midweek thrashing of Crystal Palace was backed up with a comfortable cup success where six of the starting XI were aged 23 or below.
Boss Antonio Conte also rested regulars Hugo Lloris, Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Ivan Perisic and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and will hope injured trio Rodrigo Bentancur, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison can feature in Sunday’s derby.
“Yeah, I think we arrive in a good moment, in a good mood for this type of game,” Stellini said of the upcoming visit of Premier League leaders Arsenal.
“It is really a huge game, a north London derby, so nothing to say. It is an important game and we have the team to play this type of game.”
Yves Bissouma is expected to be in contention to play against Arsenal after he pulled out of the Pompey clash with an ankle issue.
Asked if the midfielder would be fit to face the Gunners, Stellini insisted: “Yeah, absolutely.
“Bissouma has an ankle problem. He tried to push himself and we worked to have Bissouma on the pitch, but he was mature to say the truth and he was not 100 per cent.”
Skipp and Pape Sarr made up a youthful midfield in Bissouma’s absence but both produced solid displays with the latter building on an encouraging cameo off the bench at Palace.
Stellini added: “Skippy and Pape, they are so important in our rotation because last season and the start of this season we used Rodrigo and Pierre a lot and we need reliable players.
“Also if they’re young, it’s important that we give minutes and rotation and it’s a different choice.
“They were so good, they moved a lot, they move the ball and I think Pape Sarr, Skippy and (Bryan) Gil they were all so good.”
Obviously a young boy, but super talented. He is a brilliant kid, humble, hard-working, everything you look for in a top player. He will be a top player, I have no doubt about that.
Portsmouth coach Simon Bassey on Dane Scarlett
Dane Scarlett, another talented young Tottenham player, only had a watching role on Saturday due to the terms of his loan at Portsmouth.
The forward has struck five times in 26 appearances this season and Pompey interim head coach Simon Bassey hopes he remains at Fratton Park.
“I think it has been a good loan, certainly for Dane and us also,” he said.
“Obviously a young boy, but super talented. He is a brilliant kid, humble, hard-working, everything you look for in a top player. He will be a top player, I have no doubt about that.
“I see no reason that Tottenham want to call him back. And if they do, I am sure we will take Harry Kane off them instead.”