Spurs boss Pochettino: ‘Disappointed’ Janssen may be putting too much pressure on himself
Mauricio Pochettino feels summer signing Vincent Janssen might be putting too much pressure on himself as he bids to end his dry run in front of goal, and the Tottenham manager says the Dutchman simply needs some encouragement and patience.
Janssen arrived from AZ Alkmaar for £17million to provide cover for Harry Kane – and the 22-year-old has quickly been thrust into the spotlight after Kane’s ankle injury last month.
Janssen has started five of Tottenham’s six games in Kane’s absence and has made 12 appearances for the Lilywhites in total, but he has only managed one goal - which came from the penalty spot in a 5-0 home win against League One outfit Gillingham in the League Cup – and has drawn a blank in his last four starts.
“He’s not frustrated, maybe a bit disappointed,” said Pochettino. “Striker always like to score, they’re always incomplete if they play well but don’t score - there’s always something missing and it’s always like this. But he’s happy.
“He wants to show that he has the quality to score and maybe he puts a lot of pressure on himself and thinks ‘I need to score, I need to score’ and in the end we need to calm him and say ‘yes, good, don’t worry. Keep working hard and keep going and in the end it’s sure you will score’.
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“We need to give time to the youngsters. He’s young, he’s coming from the Netherlands and always the players that comes from outside need time.
“He’s a striker that brings different characteristics to the team but I’m happy with his behaviour, his professionalism and how he’s playing.
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“It’s true we’d be happier if he scores, and him too, but it’s a normal process. The most important thing is that he’s always focused on trying to improve and is working hard and that’s the best way to try to arrive to score in the games.
“The same things happened sometimes in some periods with Harry. The important thing is he is settled in the team. He’s a very good professional and he works hard every day to try to score and play well.
“We are very happy with him. It’s only a natural process that he needs to go through, but it’s not a problem. He’s a good player, he was the top scorer in Netherlands and there’s no doubt about his quality.”
Pochettino must decide whether to stick with Janssen against Bournemouth, or play Heung-Min Son as a striker, as Spurs prepare to travel to Bournemouth on Saturday.
A victory in the early kick-off would take Tottenham to the top of the table, and Pochettino says it is an important opportunity for his side.
However, he has warned his players to avoid any complacency as they face a Bournemouth outfit managed by one of his favourite coaches, Eddie Howe.
“It must be a big motivation for us, to finish the game and take the three points and be on the top of the table,” said Pochettino.
“I think it’s impossible to find better motivation, and the atmosphere on the training ground was very good today. I think our players are very conscious of that and it’s a good opportunity to see us on the top of the table.
“But first of all we need to win the game and we have in front of us a very good team with a great manager, Eddie Howe, and it will be a tough game.
“In football you need to show your feeling and show your way and your philosophy. I admire Eddie Howe - I like him a lot and we share a lot of values and principles, so it makes me happy to see how they develop their game and how Bournemouth are playing. It will be a very exciting game and it will be nice to see him on Saturday.”
Pochettino believes Howe has all the attributes to be a successful England manager, despite only being 38 years old.
“Never it’s [too] soon if you want it,” he said. “One day if he decides in his mind he wants to be the manager of the England national team and he has the offer, I think it would be great for England, because I repeat that I like him a lot.
“But it’s a question for him because every manager has their ideas. I think he’s great, everything I’ve seen from him is fantastic.”
Kane and Toby Alderweireld will miss this weekend’s clash on the south coast, while Danny Rose will be assessed tomorrow after bruising his foot in Tuesday’s match against Bayer Leverkusen.
Pochettino said: “We are happy with Harry, he’s doing very well. Today he’s started to touch the ball a little bit alone and do some exercises with the sports scientists. We assess him every day but he’s not available for this weekend.
“It’s difficult [to predict when he will be back] because it’s about how his ankle reacts every day. Today we’re happy but we’ll see.
“Toby’s scan is clear but he still feels pain in his leg. He’s recovering well but we need to wait. He’s not available for the weekend too.
“We’re happy it’s not a big issue but it was still a heavy knock on his leg and it’s still painful. We need to wait to see how it reacts too every day.
“Danny Rose we need to assess tomorrow because he kicked an opponent against Leverkusen and his foot is bruised. We will see tomorrow if he is available of not.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs