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Tottenham's Son Heung-Min revitalised after South Korea agony

MOSCOW -- Son Heung-Min says his Olympic agony has made him "stronger" after his fifth goal in as many matches helped Tottenham to a crucial 1-0 Champions League win at CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

Son's fine form comes after a difficult summer for club and country, as South Korea lost in the Olympic quarterfinals and he asked to leave Spurs to return to Germany.

A 1-0 defeat to Honduras in Rio de Janeiro ended Son's hopes of a medal, and the chance to be exempt from South Korea's mandatory two-year military service, and head coach Shin Tae-Yong revealed that the 24-year-old "cried all day long" and "didn't even eat" after the match.

"This was true, after [the] Olympics I was very upset," Son told reporters in Moscow.

"I was really down because I played for my country and wanted to get some medals for my country. For six months I was there [in preparation] but after [the] Olympics I thought now I have to focus on the season. It was not easy but everyone -- my family, my teammates -- helped me a lot and made me stronger than before.

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"I had preseason and I feel really fit. We played four games at the Olympics, so I feel very fit. It is true I am in great form and have made a great start but I have to keep working hard so I finish like this."

Son's 71st-minute strike at Arena CSKA helped Spurs to a first win in the Champions League since February 2011, and followed brilliant doubles versus Stoke and Middlesbrough in the Premier League, either side of man-of-the-match display against Sunderland.

After Tuesday's victory, Mauricio Pochettino described the forward as "on fire," and Son said: "I am very happy to hear these words -- 'on fire.' I don't know what to say. I try my best and I want to help my teammates every game. The teammates help me a lot."

Son's goal against CSKA came four minutes after Pochettino replaced lone striker Vincent Janssen with winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, and moved Son up front.

Janssen was subdued and the Spurs manager must decide whether to stick with the Dutchman or use Son as an auxiliary centre-forward in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City.

Son said: "I want to play every game, this is normal. Every player is the same. I'm really happy to stay here and play in the Premier League and Champions League. For every player, it is a dream to play Premier League and Champions League. It is a dream come true.

"At Leverkusen I never played central striker, as a No. 9, but at Hamburg I played as a central striker. I try. I can't say I'll score for sure but I try as an offensive player to score and score the winning goals.

"I think we have great players to score. Harry is a great player but also Vincent Janssen. It is not just me I try to score but we all try to score more goals."

Son was asked about the prospect of military service but the question was blocked by a member of Tottenham Hotspur's press team.

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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