Harry Redknapp paid tribute to Roman Pavlyuchenko after the Russian forward struck a contender for goal of the season to seal victory for Tottenham in Thursday night's Europa League match against Rubin Kazan at White Hart Lane.
With one eye on Sunday's trip to Blackburn, Redknapp decided to rest the majority of his first team, giving Pavlyuchenko a chance to shine in front of a side from his homeland. The 29-year-old made the most of the opportunity by lashing home a superb free-kick which flew in off the bar just after the half hour to help Spurs edge a nervy contest.
"He is a great striker of the ball. He he really can hit a ball," Redknapp said. "When he lined it up I had a feeling he was going to score because he is a very clean striker of the football. He's got two great feet. Technically he's a top, top player - there was never any doubt about that. It was good to see him score."
Had it not been for an excellent first-half reaction save from Heurelho Gomes, Spurs would have had to settle for a point against a team who beat Barcelona in the Nou Camp two years ago.
The Russian Premier League outfit troubled Tottenham's makeshift back four throughout tonight's game, leaving the home side to hang on for a point during a tense second half.
Having got the three points, and rested most of his first team for Sunday's game, the Spurs boss was happy with his team's efforts.
"They are a good side, Rubin. They are just as I expected them to be," said Redknapp. "It was a good result for us. I didn't want to over-stretch too many of senior players and one or two of the young kids like Jake Livermore and Tom Carroll did well."
The win, which puts Spurs two points clear at the top of Group A, means Redknapp can rest his big names for their next European game in Kazan in two weeks' time.
"I will be taking a very, very young team out to Russia now for sure for the second game," Redknapp added.
"I find the competition difficult to be honest. There are so many games, so much travelling and the league is our priority."