Mauricio Pochettino reaffirms commitment to Tottenham Hotspur amid rumoured interest from Inter Milan
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Reports in Italy have linked Spurs boss with Inter job, but Argentinean says he’s staying put ahead of trip to Leicester City in Premier League
Mauricio Pochettino has promised he will be at Tottenham next season, saying he has no reason to leave the club.
Reports in Italy have suggested the Argentinian has a £4.2million buy-out clause in his contract, and that Inter Milan’s sporting director is seeking to hold to hold talks over a move to the San Siro.
But Pochettino said at his press conference today: “No. There’s no buy-out clause in my contract. I will stay here next season.
“There are many rumours but I am committed to the club. I have no reason to leave the club. I will stay here, don’t worry. When pre-season starts on July 3, you will see.”
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For now, Spurs have little to play for other than pride as they prepare to finish their campaign away against Leicester and Hull, having already secured second place – their highest ever finish in the Premier League.
Pochettino is looking back at October and November, when his side only won one out of 10 games in all competitions, as the period that ultimately cost them in the title race – and he is determined to make the necessary improvements.
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“It’s about being more competitive during the season,” he said. “We had some problems in October and November where we dropped a lot of points in the Premier League, and then it was difficult to catch Chelsea in the end. Our performance wasn’t the best for different reasons.
“That is the point we need to analyse, to help the team to be more competitive and consistent during the whole season. It’s too difficult when you drop in some periods to then catch your opponent.
“Chelsea weren’t at a different level to us but they had a different schedule with fixtures. They didn’t play in the Europa League or Champions League – no European competition - and they were capable of being consistent in the Premier League. That is why they won it in the end.
“Next season will be different and you never know, but it’s important for us to try to improve and try to be consistent and not have that situation where sometimes you drop [your level] in one month or five weeks. Then it’s difficult to make up the gap.”
Pochettino continued: “It wasn’t about quality, we struggled to compete. Now it’s a moment to be cool and try to analyse better everything that happened, because every single match and training session is on record. We record everything.
“Now we have time, going to Hong Kong [for a post-season tour next week], to work a lot and try to analyse, assess, all the season. It’s sure we’ll find a way to fix that and provide better tools to the team so they don’t struggle in some moments.
“I think it’s a very good moment and opportunity for us to learn and improve our methods, the way we handle and manage the team. It’s important to be humble and honest and try to look at ourselves [as a coaching staff] as well.
“You know very well that when you’re second it’s something you must improve. You must improve if you want to win because next season will be completely different. It’s sure all our enemies and opponents will try to improve their squads.
“Always in life you cannot stay happy with what you’re doing now. You must always try to improve, and for us it’s the same.
“Next season or during the summer we need to find the way to inspire, motivate and push further in our performance, to try different ways to play maybe and improve our methods, and then to try to add more quality maybe if are able to discover or find this type of player that can help us next season to be better and compete better in different periods of the season.”
Pochettino has injury issues to contend with ahead of Thursday’s trip to Leicester. Left-back Danny Rose will be out of action until next season after undergoing knee surgery – there is no timeframe for his return.
Meanwhile the Spurs manager is also missing both of his right-backs – Kyle Walker has an ankle injury while Kieran Trippier suffered concussion against Manchester United on Sunday.
“We will have different options to play with different players,” said Pochettino. “Maybe we change the formation. It’s good for us to be creative now one more time and try to play in the best condition and try to win.”
The Argentinian has also revealed that Mousa Dembele has been struggling with a long-term foot injury and has been playing through the pain to stay available.
The Belgian midfielder had to go off at half time at Crystal Palace last month and has been used as a substitute in the last three matches.
“He’s struggled with his foot,” said Pochettino. “We’ll see what happens now, after Sunday. He needs to see the specialist. He’s ok but maybe not at his best to play 90 minutes.
“He’s been making a big effort to stay available and help the team in the last few weeks and I want to say that we appreciate it a lot because it’s very painful for him.
“But he’s been doing his best in the last few weeks to try to help the team reach the final of the FA Cup and then to win the Premier League, and then in the end to be second in the table.”