Ryan Nelsen defended El-Hadji Diouf as “one of a kind” after the controversial winger played a starring role in Rovers’ latest episode of the Great Escape on this day in 2009.

The Senegalese international was at the centre of a post-match storm, after celebrating vociferously in front of the stunned Tottenham fans following Andre Ooijer’s 89th-minute winner.

Robbie Keane’s disputed penalty had given Spurs the lead but goals from Benni McCarthy and Ooijer in the last 10 minutes gave Rovers a 2-1 win that saw them climb to 14th in the Premier League.

Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes though clashed with Diouf post-match, with the winger having to be dragged away by the coaching staff. But Nelsen believed the passion of the January arrival from Sunderland was an undoubted asset for Rovers.

Nelsen said: “I didn’t really see it because I was so busy celebrating myself, but Diouf is an emotional guy.

“He brings a lot of personality to the team and I mean that in the right sort of way.

“Since he’s come here he has been fantastic, a real breath of fresh air. He’s hungry and he wants to win. So maybe it was just a bit of that.

“When you pinch a win in those circumstances, it can get quite emotional. What you have to understand is that he is cut from a different mould to a lot of us.

“To me that’s awesome, it would be boring if we were all the same.

“He’s a fantastic lad and an emotional guy. He wants to win so badly when he’s on the field.

“People can sometimes take it the wrong way and maybe that’s what’s happened. Players like him are infectious.

“Sometimes if guys are not at their best, a guy like him can rub off and give others energy.”

Gael Givet was harshly penalised for handball in the penalty area for the visitors’ opener, but Wilson Palacios’ 80th-minute sending off changed the game, as Rovers came roaring back to give their relegation fight a massive boost. However, boss Sam Allardyce insisted there was still work to be done after just a second home win of the year moved them closer to safety.

He said: “I don’t think that ends our relegation worries, 34 points is nowhere near enough.

“It’s helped an awful lot by the fact the confidence in the side, given all the problems we’ve got.

“The squad has come into its own. We’ve got a result out of that and that’s very important indeed.

“This is a confidence booster. If I can take you through the last six games, we’ve taken 11 points out of 18.

“That shows you how hard it is to get out of trouble doesn’t it when we’ve got 11 points out of 18 and we’re still in and around the relegation zone?”

Injuries to Roque Santa Cruz and Jason Roberts left Allardyce having to resort to putting defender Chris Samba up front after the break – a move that proved effective, having a hand in the late goals from McCarthy and Ooijer.

Allardyce said: “The Chris Samba scenario came about three weeks ago because he told me he played centre-forward until he was 17 before he was moved to the back.

“So when we got Morten injured and then Jason injured and Roque not with us, I thought about putting Carlos (Villanueva) in the hole. But I thought that would be difficult for us and we would have no-one to challenge Woodgate and King.

“We struggled in the first half, making it comfortable for them, but Chris Samba has made a big impact up there using his ability, size and strength to upset those two excellent central defenders.

“That has helped us to get the victory.

“In the end we’ve had a player sent off for Tottenham, and we’ve taken full advantage of that. It’s not out best performance by a long way, but it’s not about the performance, it’s about the result and we got it.”

Meanwhile, on this day in 2015, a 19-year-old David Raya made his Rovers debut in a 3-0 win at Elland Road.