Soccer

Brennan Johnson excited about Tottenham potential with full squad to pick from

Spurs have missed Cristian Romero, James Maddison and Son Heung-min for periods since November, but all are back now.

Brennan Johnson (right) believes Tottenham are at full strength
Brennan Johnson (right) believes Tottenham are at full strength Brennan Johnson (right) believes Tottenham are at full strength (John Walton/PA)

Brennan Johnson is excited about what Tottenham can achieve this season with their improved squad depth.

Spurs were able to welcome captain Son Heung-min and Yves Bissouma back into the fold for Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Brighton after their recent international commitments.

It was Son who set up fellow substitute Johnson for a last-gasp winner, which keeps Tottenham firmly in the hunt for Champions League qualification and as a big outsider in the title race.

Boss Ange Postecoglou has not had a fully-fit squad to pick from since November due to injuries, suspensions and national-team duty, but does now and has used options off his bench during the last fortnight to inspire home wins over Brentford and Brighton.

“You don’t play that well or with that togetherness if everyone isn’t on board. Everyone is firmly on board with how the manager plays,” Johnson insisted.

“At half-time he was so frustrated because we came away from the way we want to play and when we score goals like that, it is stuff we work on day-in, day-out so it’s a nice feeling because it is the rewards paying off.

“It is just excitement (in the squad). Everyone is back and we’ve missed some really key players. As the manager said, now in training we’ll be doing the starters against the sub team and most times you won’t be able to tell who is starting because the quality is so high.

“We have that competition in training, there is never any bad blood, everyone gets on so well in training and we just want to push ourselves.

“It shows like (here) and against Brentford, when people aren’t at it for one reason or another, it’s not down to them, but it shows the squad and the players coming on can make such a good impact.”

The 96th-minute winner was Johnson’s latest encouraging moment after a mixed start to life with the north London club.

After struggling for form earlier this season, his third goal for Tottenham makes it four goal involvements in his last seven Premier League appearances.

Johnson told SpursPlay: “Moments like that are what you dream of as a player.

“Even when I was on the bench, I knew when we come on there is such good quality in the team. Coming on with a player as good as Sonny, when he gets the ball down the left-hand side, his crossing is unbelievable, especially off both feet.

“It was just about making sure I got it in. It felt like it was coming in slow motion but to get the ball in the back of the goal is a special feeling.”

Brighton were without boss Roberto De Zerbi at Tottenham with the Italian back in his home country recovering from invasive dental surgery.

De Zerbi also had a one-match touchline ban to serve, but his number two revealed he was in contact with his staff during the match.

“Yes, Roberto was the whole match in contact with us,” Seagulls assistant Andrea Maldera revealed.

“In the first half not too much because the match was easy to read, but in half-time I spoke with him and he gave to me and the team some suggestions.

“In the second half, the substitutions arrived from him because he is watching the match on TV.”