Pochettino: Llorente hatrick a “massive boost” for him

Mauricio Pochettino admits Fernando Llorente is in a “difficult” position as Tottenham’s backup striker but was pleased to see the fringe members of his squad deliver in the emphatic victory over Tranmere.

Llorente netted a fine hat-trick as Spurs secured their biggest ever win away from home, putting seven past Tranmere in their FA Cup third round match at Prenton Park on Friday night.

Pochettino was able to leave Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen on the bench with Harry Kane coming on with 15 minutes remaining to also get on the score sheet.

Spurs led by a single goal at half-time and the manager was pleased to see such a dramatic step-up in quality after the break.

He told BT Sport: “We were trying to fix something because we struggled a little bit to arrive, in the first 10 minutes we created two chances but it was difficult for us to create chances and it was a little bit lucky the first goal that opened the game, I feel that the second half was better.

“I think our performance we need to work a lot on the first 45 minutes.”

Llorente has been strongly linked with a return to Athletic Club but Pochettino was pleased to see the Spaniard and the rest of Tottenham’s squad players deliver when it mattered.

“Of course, it’s difficult because Kane is one of the best strikers in the world and for any strikers it’s going to be tough to compete and for him it is a massive boost.”

“We try to rotate and give some rest to some players that needed to rest.

“I’m happy today because we keep the level and we keep going in that competition which is important for the club. It’s so important to manage the squad to try and give some rest to the players when they need, and now we have a very busy period.

“I am so, so pleased because the team is performing very well away from home, they’re showing great character.”

(Evening Standard)


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