• Eriksen produced a moment of quality in the 88th minute to hand Spurs a 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• The Seagulls, fighting for their lives at the other end of the table, defended with 11 men behind the ball
Mauricio Pochettino says Christian Eriksen is open to talks over a new contract after his heroics against Brighton boosted Tottenham’s Premier League top-four hopes.
Eriksen produced a moment of quality in the 88th minute to hand Spurs a 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which strengthens their grip on the Champions League places.
The Dane is out of contract at the end of next season and is currently stalling on a new deal, with Real Madrid reported to be interested in signing him.
Pochettino has revealed that Eriksen is open to discussing a new deal, but it will not be until the end of the season.
“I think I was clear a few months ago,” Pochettino said. “It is a situation that is a very special situation, Christian is a special person, I think we are all special, different and we need to understand that. The timing for him or for the club to be agreeing something are maybe different to another player.”
“I hope and I wish Christian can be with us in the future but I think Christian and us we are so open to talk and we will see what happens. I think it is so close to the end of the season, a lot of time to talk after and I think the most important thing now, not only for him, is for all the players to be focused and try to achieve the things we want. We have a lot of big things ahead and we need to be focused only to try and recover, train and compete.”
Eriksen’s decision whether to stay at the club or not may be influenced by how Spurs end their season, with a Champions League crown still in the offing, and they took a big step towards another season in Europe’s premier club competition with a narrow victory over Brighton.
The Seagulls, fighting for their lives at the other end of the table, defended with 11 men behind the ball and it looked like Spurs were headed towards a first goalless draw in 68 games until Eriksen came to the rescue. It was vital that Spurs capitalised on Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all dropping points over the Easter weekend and Pochettino knows his side are in pole position.
“We are in a position now that is in our hands to be in the top four,” he added. “If we are capable of winning the next three games in the Premier League then we will be third. I think that is the key, thinking about ourselves and then seeing what’s happening next to us of course.”
Brighton weathered the storm for 88 minutes and looked like holding on for a precious point and their late slip left boss Chris Hughton feeling heartbroken.
“That is very much the feeling at the moment,” he said. I genuinely felt that we had a little bit of fortune go our way, they hit the woodwork, and you get a feeling that it is going to come, but the longer it went on I thought we were going to hold out.”
“If we managed the game a little bit better at the end we would have got the result we wanted. We’re in a pressurised position but it is only us that have put us there. We need to take whatever we can from these last two performances and they have been ‘better feel’ performances for us.”