Spurs are heading to Australia in May to avoid a tiring pre-season tour, explains Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are travelling to Australia at the end of May to avoid a draining pre-season tour abroad and to give him the best possible chance of preparing his squad for the 2015-16 campaign.
Spurs announced today that they will head down under to play a friendly match against Sydney FC on Saturday May 30.
Chairman Daniel Levy said the trip “will provide the club with a perfect opportunity to engage with a growing fanbase across the Asia-Pacific region” – and Pochettino acknowledges the commercial benefit of taking the team overseas.
However, he has agreed with Levy that it would be better for the excursion to happen at the end of this term rather than when the players return from their summer holidays, as he plans a pre-season programme in England.
“It [the trip to Australia in May] was my decision,” said Pochettino. “We will take one week after the Everton game. It’s important because we’re trying to avoid going on tour during pre-season.
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“It’s never proper for the team to go to Asia or America at the beginning of the season to spend time doing commercial business. We’d rather do it post-season. We’ll be in England [for pre-season]. The weather is very good - I love it, for work. Spain is for holidays.
“The first period of pre-season is very important for our style and to set the basis of the team. The aim is to combine the business responsibilities of the club with the needs of the team.
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“The training base will be here but obviously we’re going away to play some matches. I’ve had bad experiences of tours, when you’re going far away - experiences as a player help as a manager. It can upset your preparations.”
Asked whether Levy is content with the arrangement, Pochettino said: “He came to my office and he was very happy.”
It will be interesting to see whether Tottenham take Kane to Australia, given Pochettino has expressed concerns about the striker’s workload this season and the fact that he is likely to be selected by Gareth Southgate for the European Under-21 Championship this summer.
“We have enough time to talk about Harry, there are 11 games to go,” said Pochettino. “We have a very good relationship with the FA. We met Gareth Southgate at White Hart Lane before the Swansea game. We talked about many things in my office - the relationship is very good.
“We talked in general about ideas, philosophy and how we can help the development of the young players together. One thing is clear - the main objective for everybody involved is to create players who can play at a high level for the national team.
“The most important thing is that Spurs have to play in Sydney. This is very important. We’ll decide who we take as we approach the trip.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs