Ben Davies believes that Moussa Sissoko may have been made Tottenham's "scapegoat" in the past but feels that his impressive display against Chelsea has proved he's now at the top of his game.
The 29-year-old has been a target of criticism since he joined Spurs from Newcastle United back in 2016 and has struggled to establish himself in Mauricio Pochettino's first XI.
Indeed, the France international has still yet to reach 50 starts for the club, despite joining them almost two-and-a-half years ago.
Sissoko was, however, one of the players to make a big difference in the 3-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday and Davies thinks that he's shown his strength of character.
"I thought he was excellent again," Davies told reporters. "He's really showing the quality he's got, but we never had any doubts about what he can bring to this team. He got a bit of flak, sometimes unfairly, and he became a bit of a scapegoat when we didn't perform at our best.
"But I thought today, and during this season, he's been excellent for us, so we're delighted for him. Possibly [the criticism got to him]. It's tough to say. It's hard to get in players' heads and know what they're thinking at the time.
"But if you get told you're not playing well it's going to get in your head. If you can come back from that, you can do anything. He's really shown his importance to this team. He's an incredibly hard worker and that's what we've got throughout this team - boys who work hard and are willing to put the effort in on the training ground.
"It's paying off in the matches for us. He's no different to anyone else in that regard."
Davies was another who put in a solid performance at Wembley as he helped to keep a front three of Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata and Willian quiet over the course of the 90 minutes.
Mauricio Pochettino won the tactical battle on the day, with his 4-3-1-2 system stifling Jorginho, with Dele Alli playing a key role in stopping the Italy international playing.
"I think we played really well," Davies added. "We had a game plan and it worked perfectly. The boys up top could have scored five or six today and on another day the chances we had could easily have gone in.
"Jorginho really made Chelsea tick this year, when he gets on the ball and plays one or two touches. He's a very good player. But when you're against someone like Dele, who is always hounding you and putting the effort in on the defensive side as well, you can see the space it created for Son and Harry [Kane] as soon as we won it back.
"We watched their [last] game but it wasn't something we overly thought of, seeing how Everton played. The manager set the team out yesterday and told us how he wanted us to play. A lot of credit has to go to him for the way he set us up - it really nullified their threat."
Tottenham's win over Chelsea comes ahead of a crucial week for the club, as they face a must-win Champions League match against Inter before taking on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Pochettino's injury concerns at the back mean Davies may have to play three games in the space of a week, but the Wales international insists he's ready to answer his manager's call.
"Yes, I am, 100 per cent [ready]. As a player you want to play as many games as you can," he added. "If the games are every three days you put the effort in to do that. This is what the effort on the training pitch is for. When you have these games coming every three days you have to be fit and strong and ready for it.
"We feel confident as a team to be able to do it again. It gives you a lot of confidence beating a good side like Chelsea and especially as that was their first defeat this season. There's a lot of confidence to take from that."