17-11-2016 Interview with manager Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he has no concerns over the futures of Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris, and the Tottenham manager expects both players to sign new contracts in due course

Reports this week suggested the pair both want six-figure weekly salaries which would put them in line with some of their rivals at other clubs.

That could be problematic given Spurs’ tight wage structure, but Pochettino is unperturbed by the situation.

“You know for us they are players that are very important, Harry and Hugo, but they have current contracts – five years and three and a half years more – and they are very happy,” said the Argentinian. “That is the most important thing.

“Maybe there are a lot of rumours that can affect our fans, but the fans need to have no worries about this because the players show their commitment to the club, they want to be here for the long term.

“I think they’re talking, the club and the players are talking about maybe improving or having extended contracts. In the future I think it’s not a big problem to do.

“It’s true that you always want to keep your best players and try to pay them as they deserve to be paid, but I think the club is doing a great job, and the players too. It’s only time to fit everything in and we cannot be worried about things like this because the players are very happy.

“They want to be at Tottenham, they feel it’s a project and it’s a club that has the potential to be one of the best in the future. Only I can feel in the changing room and on the pitch that they are very happy.”

Pochetttino continued: “Tottenham cannot compare with another club, we have our own philosophy. You cannot compare their situation with another player.

“In my life, when I was player and now as a manager, I need to be happy with what I want, what I need, but never to compare with another, because it’s not important.

“I’m calm. I trust 100 per cent the club and [chairman] Daniel Levy. He’s doing a fantastic job with the club. The future is brilliant. All the players wants to commit to the club and you have plenty of examples in the past few months.”

Tottenham return to action after the latest international break with a Premier Legaue home game against West Ham on Saturday evening, and Pochettino is missing a few players.

Toby Alderweireld, who was expected to be fit by now, is still recovering the knee injury he suffered a West Bromwich Albion a month ago, and Erik Lamela and Ben Davies are also out of action, while Dele Alli is a doubt after twisting his knee in a training session before Spurs’ last game against Arsenal.

“From the beginning we believed it would be a very short process [for Toby] and a short period to be available again and have a full recovery, but in the end it was a very slow recovery,” Pochettino explained.

“The knock he got affected the nerve and the process to recover was very slow. Today he is near to start training with the group. Maybe he will be available in or one week to 10 days more, if all goes well.

“[Erik and Ben Davies] will be maybe a little bit longer for different things. I am not sure of the process and the period that they need to be out.

“We need to assess [Dele] tomorrow. We are very happy, he showed today he is in very good condition. We need to analyse whether to take a risk [on Saturday] or if he is on the bench and we protect him for Tuesday [against Monaco] or next week. It was not a big issue. If not for Saturday then for Tuesday he will be available in the squad.”

Danny Rose is available to face West Ham but Pochettino admits the left-back is not in optimum condition after playing almost two full games for England during the last fortnight and suffering a bruised foot against Spain on Tuesday.

“It is always a national team’s decision to select the player to play, I can say nothing about that,” said the Spurs manager. “If the player is in condition to play, there is nothing to do.

“I don’t want to complain or say anything because now we maybe have to change our plan to give him more rest so he arrives in a better condition, physically and mentally.

“It’s true it wasn’t the best thing for him to play two games because against Spain he played 78 minutes and it was tough for him. The last moments were tough for him.

“Remember he was injured with the national team [earlier in the season] too and he lost a lot of games, and then he played against Manchester City and in the [last] international break he played two games too.

“But I have nothing to say, I am happy he is in good condition. He is a little bit tired and it is up to us to manage him and try to take the best decisions for him.

“Did I speak to Gareth Southgate about it? That is difficult because the question of the player depends on many things – they play for the qualification for the World Cup, or because Ryan Bertrand wasn’t available to play.

“In his mind maybe he wanted to play with Bertrand but Bertrand wasn’t available. I think he had some problems, I don’t know.”

Tottenham are suffering many more injuries this season than they experienced last term, but Pochettino does not feel there is a trend that needs to be examined.

“We need to put the injuries in different columns,” he said. “A lot of players have got injuries after the international break, got injuries with their national teams.

“Sometimes something happens. You can control many things but it’s an impossible task sometimes. Toby’s injury was a very strange injury, and Ben Davies twisted his ankle.

“The only thing we would worry about is the same type of injury that repeats every month. But our different issues are not about our method or the way we’re training. It’s football and that’s what can happen.”

(Ham & High)

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