Harry Winks on Pochettino

Harry Winks believes Mauricio Pochettino’s philosophy is ideally suited to his talents – and he is itching to get more opportunities to play alongside Tottenham’s internationals.

The 20-year-old midfielder made his first appearance for Spurs in November 2014 but, at the start of this season, he only had three substitute outings to his name.

Nonetheless, the time spent on the training ground with Pochettino and the Lilywhites’ senior stars over the last two years has been profitable, and Winks is now getting more chances to show his passing ability and skills in front of the back four.


He was a prominent figure during Tottenham’s pre-season campaign, facing Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan – and he then made his first start for the club last Wednesday, running the game in the 5-0 home win over Gillingham in the League Cup, before coming off the bench against Middlesbrough and CSKA Moscow.

“I’m playing with top-quality players and every day I’m improving,” said Winks. “I’m learning from a great manager as well. He teaches us a lot and the way his philosophy is, it suits me to a tee.

“My game is to take risks. I can be sturdy and solid when I need to be, but ultimately we want to score and in order to do so you have to take risks. In my position that’s what I’m able to do and hopefully I can affect the game in that way.

“I want more – a lot more – but I understand I’m young and I have to bide my time and be patient. I’ll just continue to work hard and hopefully go forward from there.

“The summer’s trip to Australia was massive because I played against top opposition, playing with top players, and it was an experience which I learned a lot from. Playing in senior football, against top opposition, I could take that experience into this season.”

Winks added: “It’s great for all of us young, aspiring academy boys [to see the players who have gone before us].

“We want to be where Harry [Kane] is, where Ryan Mason was, Tom Carroll – players like that. We want to get there, and to see them succeed and doing so well only gives us more motivation to get there.

“I look up to a lot of the boys who have been there and done it. As a midfielder I look up to all of them – [Mousa] Dembele and [Eric] Dier.

“[Victor] Wanyama has helped me out a lot, especially in pre-season. I just want to grow my own game and I’ll take any bit of advice I can get from anyone.

“It was nice to have big presences on the pitch against Gillingham, like Erik Lamela, [Kevin] Wimmer, [Vincent] Janssen, [Christian] Eriksen – players who have actually been there and done it. Having those players around me and talking me through it was key for me.”

(Ham & High)

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