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 today'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 in north London.
Redknapp said yesterday that he would reluctantly agree to listen to offers for Pavlyuchenko in January, but he may now be having second thoughts about the former Spartak Moscow man after this evening's strike.
"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," Redknapp added.
"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."
Gomes was a surprise starter for tonight's game as Redknapp has opted to deploy second choice Carlo Cudicini in most of the club's European games.
The Brazil international was Redknapp's number one last year, but he has fallen out of favour thanks to the impressive form of new signing Brad Friedel.
Redknapp was pleased to see Gomes rise to the occasion after he tipped wide Gokdeniz Karadeniz's close-range header, and insisted that it is not a certainty that he will leave in January.
"I was pleased for Gomes. He was great tonight," Redknapp said.
"Carlo Cudicini has been playing well and so has Brad but I played the big man tonight and he did well.
"I would like to think that Gomes still has a big future here.
"But he wants to play more, obviously, and at the moment he is disappointed that Brad has come in, but Brad has done great.
"Gomes is top class, when he is on his game he is a great keeper."
Rubin now drop to third in the group following PAOK Salonika's win over Shamrock Rovers.
The Russian side's boss, Kurban Berdyev, thinks his team should have taken something from the game.
"We did deserve a draw. We had enough chances to score," he said.
"Tottenham played as we expected but we have to talk about the chances we had.
"We had more chances than we had even in Russian matches."