Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino has praised the performance of Dele Alli following his goal in Tuesday night's 1-0 League Cup win over Barnsley.
Alli had been struggling to find form prior to the midweek victory, and Pochettino admitted that he would be started against Barnsley in an attempt to help him rediscover his confidence.
The England international rewarded his coach with a match-winning display, his second-half strike finding the net to secure Spurs' place in the fourth round.
"For me, Dele Alli is a top player," Pochettino said, quoted by the Independent. "He is a key player for us. I think he helped us by scoring today.
"I am so happy with him. It's true that everyone can do better but I am happy. It is a period that he needs to find his balance but I am so happy, his performance was good.
"He tried and scored and that is fantastic."
Only 23,926 fans were in attendance at Wembley, but Pochettino stressed that it was not a concern.
"I understand," he said. "I'd like to say thank you to all the fans that were here. Maybe it wasn't possible to come. I understand that it's so difficult for the fans sometimes to come to every single game.
"I want to say thank you to our fans. I know they are behind us and translate their support."
And on the victory, Pochettino added: "I think it was a very tough game, how they defended and played it was difficult for us to create chances. Today, yes, I think our opponent was so tough because we could not shoot on target in the first 60 minutes."