Pochettino: Spurs squad is strong but I won’t pick players for the sake of it
Mauricio Pochettino says the competition for places at Tottenham is making it harder to pick his starting line-ups – but he feels no obligation to give opportunities to squad players.
Michel Vorm, Kevin Wimmer, Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli and Heung-Min Son, who have all struggled to get regular action in the Premier League, were given starting berths for last night’s FA Cup replay against Leicester and played their parts in an impressive 2-0 victory.
Pochettino said: “I am very happy this season because we have a very good squad. If you have better players it’s harder to select or to pick the players - but it’s better because it increases our level.
“Our players know the rules. From the beginning of the season, in the first meeting, I always explain to the 24 or 25 players ‘you sign for Tottenham for training and it’s my job to pick you. You need to show me you deserve to play. You need to be consistent and you need to show that you want to be part of this squad and this club, and always respect our discipline’.
“This is always my first meeting from the beginning. If they are agreed, good. If someone doesn’t agree, the door is open. It’s the only way to try to have the discipline and to arrive at the end of the season and have success.”
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Despite making eight changes for last night’s FA Cup clash with Leicester, Pochettino insists he is not prioritising the Premier League, stating his desire to challenge in multiple tournaments.
“I think Tottenham need to be involved as far as possible in every competition,” he said. “We have the Europa League, the FA Cup now and the Premier League.
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“I think we’re in a very good moment and we need to keep working hard, keep our players fit to try to fight for every competition.
“Am I prioritising any of the competitions? I think no because with our history, we are Tottenham and you need to prioritise every competition.
“The FA Cup is important for different things, the Europa League is important too and the Premier League is always very important. That’s why we have 24 or 25 players, to try to compete to increase our level in the squad and try to fight in every competition.
“From the beginning of the season I said I was very happy with the squad and I think yesterday [the FA Cup victory at Leicester] was a good opportunity to show that we have a strong squad and enough quality to compete in different competitions.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs