Tottenham: Heung-min Son reveals Brennan Johnson prediction came true in Luton comeback

Tottenham: Heung-min Son reveals Brennan Johnson prediction came true in Luton comeback

Tottenham captain Heung-min Son has revealed he told super-sub Brennan Johnson that he would change the game before Saturday's 2-1 win over Luton.

For the fourth time in Spurs' last five home games, Johnson made the difference as a substitute as his side recovered from a goal down to beat the struggling Hatters.

Within six minutes of his half-time introduction, Johnson's cross was turned into his own net by Issa Kabore, cancelling out Tahith Chong's early strike, and the substitute's deft touch set up Son's late winner.

“It was fantastic from him," Son said ahead of Tuesday's visit to West Ham. “The attitude, the behaviour and how he takes the game, it is very serious.

“It is sometimes really difficult when you are not starting. We have mentioned many times that the game will change when somebody comes on with fresh legs, which is what Brennan did on Saturday.

“I told him before the game: ‘You will change the game – just make sure you are prepared well’.

“Credit to Brennan. Brennan came on, made a huge impact for the first goal, the own goal, and for the second goal he gave a nice assist to me.”

Since January 31, Johnson has also scored from the bench in the comeback wins over Brentford and Brighton and got two assists in the victory over Crystal Palace. He scored in the 4-0 win at Aston Villa, albeit as a starter.

The 22-year-old, who joined Spurs from Nottingham Forest in a £47.5million summer deal, was milimetres from another goal against Luton but his effort at 1-1 was scrambled clear by Alfie Doughty, with the technology ruling that a fraction of the ball was still the wrong side of the goalline.

"Look I think that is what everybody expects from any player," Son added. "Because I like him, I wish him to do even more, scoring goals, helping the team, especially Saturday I was very happy and pleased to see him come off the bench and do a fantastic job.”

Spurs' last 12 goals have all been scored in the second half but, like head coach Ange Postecoglou, Son dismissed the suggestion they are suffering from slow starts.

"I think that’s a bit harsh," the Korean said. "Like Saturday, we had good chances to score.

"Look, in football, it’s playing 90 minutes. We want to start as fast as possible, home and away. From everyone, we work hard to get the space in the second half to get our chances. I don’t think that we are having slow starts, definitely not.

"Scoring in the second half, you have to put a lot of effort in the first half. I mean you could also say that we are slow starters but as a team, we don’t think we are a slow starting team. There are always improvements. We don’t always want to go 1-0 behind and chase the game. We want to make it as easy as possible in the game. There is a lot of room for improvement."

Ahead of Luton's visit, Spurs had two weeks over the international break to stew on their 3-0 defeat at Fulham and Son rallied his teammates for a big end to the season.

“Fulham was tough a result and [we had a couple of] tough weeks," he said. "After the game we had an international break, it felt very long.

"Saturday, even when we conceded an early goal, we showed great character. I wish we could win every single game, 38 games, win them all. You can say easily but in football, performance-wise, I think it’s impossible.

Heung-min Son says Spurs are not slow starters (REUTERS)
Heung-min Son says Spurs are not slow starters (REUTERS)

"So always winning, losing, but losing in that way against Fulham was not us. Just not us. Saturday I think we showed great character, a great football style off the ball, it was very important. I am very pleased and very happy to get it right. We have nine massive games. A quick turnaround for Tuesday. We have to be ready again. Another big game.”

Son's last three Spurs goals have been in 90th, 88th, 86th minutes, and his well-taken winner at the weekend was particularly impressive after his gruelling schedule during the international break, during which he played 90 minutes in two World Cup qualifiers against Thailand.

“There’s no secret [to my late goals]," Son said.

"I want to play until the last whistle and I still believe that the chances will be there, even in the 95th minute, until the last whistle.

"When the chances come, everybody is tired, the way we played, I think we put a lot of intensity. Especially second half, everybody gets tired and space will be even more. Then you create more chances. That’s not a secret.

"We put in a lot of effort for this kind of situation. We work hard for these kind of situation. I just want every single time to be ready for every chance that I get.”