Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham have high hopes for Son Heung-min's return

Suspended South Korean forward set to start against Newcastle United on Sunday.

Son Heung-min will make his first start of the season for Tottenham Hotspur against Newcastle United on Sunday. AFP 
Son Heung-min will make his first start of the season for Tottenham Hotspur against Newcastle United on Sunday. AFP 

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min is in "perfect condition" to start his season.

The South Korean is back in the fold after missing the first two games of the campaign due to suspension and he could start against struggling Newcastle United on Sunday.

His absence over the first few weeks of the season has allowed him to work hard in training and Pochettino hopes he can hit the ground running as Tottenham look to continue to build on a promising start that has seen them pick up four points from their first two games.

"I think he was training really, really hard to keep fit and improve in different areas," the Argentinian said.

"We are happy (that) in the last few weeks he was unbelievable in the way he was available to train and compete in every single training session and I hope it's going to help the team from now.

"I think it was a good opportunity for him to build his fitness and have a proper pre-season, which sometimes when you're involved in competition is difficult."

Son's campaign in 2018-19 was split by international commitments with South Korea, including playing at the Asian Cup in January in the UAE, and Pochettino hopes things will be more straightforward for the forward this time.

"For him, looking at last season, which was really, really complicated for him and difficult, we used that situation and tried to be positive in helping him to get really fit to help him and the team because the pre-season is so important for every player," Pochettino added.

"But sometimes the priority is holidays and, this type of situation with him, it was clear that he was going to be suspended for two games, and the plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas and, when the moment (comes and) he is available to play, to be in the perfect condition."

Tottenham will be favourites to hand down a third successive defeat to Newcastle, which would add further pressure on Steve Bruce.

But Pochettino insists it is too early to judge who is where in the league in terms of performance.

"It is only the beginning, the Premier League is so tough and is so difficult," he added. "I have a good relationship with Steve.

"We are going to play them, but it is only the beginning of the season. No one can be worried.

"We are in a process, nearly all of the clubs. Only Manchester City or Liverpool can say they keep all of the dynamic (from last season).

"The rest of the human people and clubs, we try to find our best dynamic to try and perform in that tough league. We all need time to get the reward and perform in the way we want."

Updated: August 24, 2019 02:26 PM

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