Son Heung-min said he needed his two stunning goals against Preston in order to boost his confidence as he helped Tottenham reach the FA Cup fifth round.
The South Korean won the Premier League Golden Boot with 23 goals last season but has so far struggled to match that form in 2022-23.
The 30-year-old was inspired at Deep-dale, belting in a 30-yard strike to break the deadlock on 50 minutes.
“I needed those goals for my confidence,” Son said.
“As a striker or as an attacking player, the important thing is that you get that goal. It’s important that I could help the team go to the next round. I’m very, very happy.”
After his opener Son soon doubled the advantage, turning and finishing smartly amid torrential rain.
Arnaut Danjuma, signed on loan from Villarreal this week, completed the scoring after coming on as a late substitute.
Tottenham assistant manager Cristian Stellini praised Son after the game, saying: “Sonny is a great player.
“He has to wait for the right moment to find the space. He was very focused on the match. He had to wait for a right time to do a good job.”
Antonio Conte’s side go into the draw for the fifth round, which takes place on Monday evening.
Spurs splutter into life at hard-working Preston
Conte made seven changes to the Spurs starting XI which beat Fulham 1-0 in the Premier League on Monday, including leaving Harry Kane on the bench.
Kane is aiming to become Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer and is level with Jimmy Greaves on 266 goals but had been struggling with illness this week, missing training on Wednesday and Thursday.
Alongside him on the bench was new signing Danjuma, but the Spurs side still contained first-teamers such as Son and Dejan Kulusevski – and they started the game on the front foot.
Kulusevski had a shot brilliantly blocked by midfielder Ryan Ledson while home goalkeeper Freddie Woodman made two fine saves from long-range Son efforts.
They had more than three quarters of the possession in the opening 20 minutes, however Preston grew into the game and began to restrict Spurs as the game wore on.
A three-man midfield of Ledson, Ben Whiteman and Ali McCann gave Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma little time or space to create.