A first-half brace from Harry Kane and a Christian Eriksen strike had put Spurs in the driving seat at the London Stadium, but an eventful final half-hour saw Serge Aurier sent off and the hosts come close to salvaging a point through Javier Hernandez and Cheikhou Kouyate.
Pochettino's side held firm for the win in the dying minutes despite being pushed hard, and speaking afterwards, the Argentine admitted that their opponents had "dominated" the final stages of the contest.
"We played well and fought," he told Sky Sports News. "Sometimes it is good to suffer a little bit as it means you are alive. We deserved to win the game.
"With 10 men for us they dominated the game and put balls into the box - they are powerful in that phase of the game - but we held on. This means more than three points as they played for their pride and for the fans.
"We are people that love to work. We feel the passion and try to improve the team in different aspects. This was good example of when the team should play, when they should defend and when they should compete. Now the team can play and compete in different ways."
Next up for Spurs is a trip to APOEL in the Champions League on Tuesday night, ahead of a trip to Huddersfield Town in the league next Saturday.