By George Brooks
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has heaped praised on Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and compared him to one of the all-time great managers Sir Alex Ferguson.
Neville suggested that only Ferguson would have been brave enough to start midfielder Harry Winks in Tottenham’s Champions League clash with European giants Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Winks has been one of the standout performers for Spurs in midfield this season and has been rewarded by his manager with starts in big games against Madrid and Manchester United.
“Ultimately you’ve got to have a manager who has the belief in youth and creating an opportunity,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Pochettino believes in young English players, he’s put Winks in and the kid is fantastic.
“How many managers have the guts and courage to put him in at the Bernabeu? Pochettino did and my old manager Sir Alex Ferguson would, he’d had thrown him in.”
Neville said that it takes courage to start such a young player in a game of that magnitude but Winks repaid his manager’s faith in him with an impressive display from midfield in the 1-1 draw.
The 21-year-old has made 13 appearances for Spurs in all competitions this season and his performances have caught the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate.
The youngster made his debut for the Three Lions in the 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania last month.
He was also named in Southgate’s 25-man squad for the back-to-back friendly matches against Germany and Brazil at Wembley over the next week.
Winks would have been hoping to show his quality against the best players international football has to offer, but had to withdraw from the squad due to an ankle injury.
In other Tottenham news, this Spurs teen sensation has been named as one of the world’s best young players.