Spurs boss drops Andros Townsend from squad after clash with fitness coach

Andros Townsend has been dropped from Tottenham’s squad for tomorrow’s Europa League clash against Anderlecht after an altercation with fitness coach Nathan Gardiner.

Pictures showed Townsend seeming to have a dispute with Gardiner and pushing him away on the pitch at White Hart Lane following Monday night’s 3-1 home win over Aston Villa, when he was an unused substitute for the second game in a row, having not started a Premier League game all season.

Pochettino said: “It was in public, there were pictures, it’s impossible to hide. It’s a private matter. When there is an action, there is a consequence.

“He did not train with the group [today], he is not available to be selected for tomorrow and he’s not in the squad. It’s because of Monday. You know. You behave in the wrong way, you always need to pay.

“It’s always my decision when he’s available again to be part of the squad. The discipline for me is very important. We have a very young squad and they can make mistakes, but when you cross the limit it’s important to stop that. I am very friendly but the discipline is very important between us.

“The staff need to show respect to the players and the players need to show respect to the staff. I think we’re all aware that he is still young, he recognised that he made a mistake and now it is my decision and you need to pay.”

Asked if Townsend had apologised, Pochettino said: “Yes, he recognised it was a mistake. I can understand because I was a player and when you don’t play you’re unhappy and sometimes your expectation is bigger.

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“It was not normal behaviour. He is young and you need to understand that it isn’t the way you need to take to impress the manager. He needs to learn about football, about behaviour, about discipline, about a lot of things. Football is not only about taking the ball in your feet and playing. It’s a lot of things, you have a lot of responsibility as a professional.”

Pochettino was asked if Townsend still has a future at Tottenham and he replied: “All players have a future, it’s up to them to have a future here. Football can change quickly. If he’s in our squad [this season] it’s because we believe in him and we believe he can give us very good things, but then it is up to the player when he has the chance to impress me and show me I was wrong in my previous decisions.”

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