Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has challenged Serge Aurier to make the right-back spot his own after his impressive display in the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
The Ivory Coast international was playing his first game of the season – and making his first Premier League start since February – and provided two assists in Spurs’ joint biggest win at their new stadium.
Aurier, who has recovered from a hand injury picked up at the Africa Cup of Nations, has said he wanted to leave the club over the summer but appears to have a second chance – providing he can be consistent.
“I think he was very happy,” Pochettino said of the right-back. “We were very happy too. I think the performance was great.
“First half was fantastic, his concentration and focus.
“Now he needs to show and be consistent. It’s not only one game and the second game the focus and intensity start to drop.
“That is the key in our team, not only him but all the players.
“All the players need to be consistent and understand that every time we are going to compete we have to give our best.
“Give like a collective our best and for sure we have the quality to beat any team.”
Aurier is in a fight with Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth for the right-back position, not that he believes that himself according to a recent interview in France.
He claimed that there was “no competition” for his place in the team, but Pochettino has not seen it.
“I did not see those quotes,” he said. “No, I didn’t see but you know, if when I talk with him it’s always clear. I didn’t see though.”
Aurier played his part in a Spurs romp, which saw Son Heung-min score twice, Patrick van Aanholt put through his own net and Erik Lamela cap off a scintillating first-half performance.
Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic offered no excuses.
“It was a very tough day for us,” he said on the club’s official website.
“I have no good explanation at the moment straight after the game.
“But you could see in the first 20 or 30 minutes they were better than us.
“When they scored the first, second or third you try to correct some things but the game is going – it’s not easy.
“At half-time we tried to stick together, to go for the second half, to try to play better, to improve a bit more and in the end they deserved three points. That’s it.”
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