Pochettino explains Alex Pritchard’s absence from Spurs squads
Mauricio Pochettino says Alex Pritchard has effectively been undergoing a pre-season programme after recovering from his ankle injury and could be included in tomorrow’s first-team squad against Everton.
Pritchard impressed on loan with Brentford in the Championship last season but was then injured with England in the European Under-21 Championship.
The 22-year-old scored twice in a 45-minute run-out for Spurs’ Under-21s against Everton two and a half weeks ago, on August 10, and some Tottenham fans have been surprised that he has not then been included in the first-team squad for the first-team games against Stoke and Leicester.
But Pochettino has explained that there is an importance difference between being physically ready and being up to the speed that he expects from his side.
“It was a shame because we have a lot of expectations for him, but after the Euros he got an injury,” said the head coach.
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“He started training with the group a week or two ago, and this is not easy for the young players, who need to show the manager [what they can do] and work with the rest of the team.
“The way that we play – high-tempo – always it’s difficult and he needs the pre-season. And now it’s like he is in his pre-season.
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“Now he’s in the group and now he’s in the squad and maybe he has the facility tomorrow to be involved.
“We want him to have the facility to work with us, to improve his game and try to develop and show his quality with us.”
Andros Townsend - another member of Spurs’ young, homegrown contingent - could also be included in tomorrow’s squad against Everton for the first time this season, having suffered a shoulder injury in a pre-season fixture and then hurt his ankle.
Although there is speculation that the England winger could depart in every transfer window, Pochettino has no plans to sell Townsend.
“He’s part of my plans but it was difficult for him from the beginning of pre-season because he was injured – his shoulder and then his ankle – and it’s been difficult for him to train properly and to fight for his place in the team,” said Pochettino.
“I think he’s played a lot [since I arrived], I think he shared the same minutes as [Erik] Lamela last season.
“When you compete in a lot of competitions – four competitions – and have a lot of games, it’s difficult to only have 11 players and play with the same players always.
“We compete for 10 months and it’s not easy to keep the same level all the time. Sometimes you have in the same position two or three players, and sometimes you decide to play some players unchanged because always you find the best for the team. But I think last season Andros played a lot.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs