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Published: 12:11 | 13/1/18

Pochettino says Lennon 'inspires the world'

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised Everton winger Aaron Lennon after the former Spurs player opened up about his mental health issues.

The 30-year-old has recently talked candidly about his struggles after he has was sectioned under the Mental Health Act last May.

Lennon, who was loaned to Everton in Pochettino's first season in charge in February 2015 before a permanent deal later that year, spent several months away from the game to recover.

He has is now an established first-team regular under new Toffees boss Sam Allardyce making 18 appearances so far this season.

The England international posted an Instagram message on New Year's Eve urging anyone in need of support with their mental health to “believe the tough times are not over”, and seek help as they are not alone.

The tricky winger is set to face his former club in a crucial Premier League encounter at Wembley on Saturday, a game that is live on BT Sport 1 on the eir Sport pack [kick off 5.30pm].

Pochettino said: “Always when a public person like Aaron is talking so openly, it is always very helpful to many people around who might have the same problem.

“The fact Aaron spoke publicly about the issue can inspire people around the world, through him or through his behaviour, to get some help. 

"There are a lot of people ready to help with temporary mental issues so it is good for him to get the love from the fans and inspire people to get the same help and talk about it.”

“Not only in football, it's general society. Not everybody is strong enough to talk publicly about their own situation.”

Everton face Tottenham in the Premier League at Wembley on Saturday, 13 January, live on BT Sport 1 on the eir Sport pack [kick off 5.30pm].

Image: Getty Images/ Catherine Ivill

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