Spurs coach: Frustrated young stars will have to be patient

Steffen Freund admits that Tottenham’s youngsters have been left in the background during Spurs’ surge into the top three of the Premier League.

Jake Livermore made his England debut against Italy in August but has recently struggled for action, only making three brief substitute appearances for Spurs since October.

Tom Carroll started the final Europa League group game against Panathinaikos, but that is one of only three appearances since November 22 – and Andros Townsend has made just three substitute appearances since October.

None of the trio made it in Andre Villas-Boas’ starting line-up against Coventry on Saturday - and although Townsend and Carroll came off the bench, Livermore was omitted from the squad.

However, the youngsters have hardly been able to complain given that Tottenham have now won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions, and Freund says they will have to bide their time.

Asked if Spurs’ young talents were getting enough playing time, the assistant coach replied: “If I have to answer straight, I’m sure the players will say ‘no’ - but that is part of being a strong club.

“We finished fourth twice and fifth. We are one of the top teams in England and we are third at the moment. You have to be patient as that is part of being a big, strong football club in the Premier League.

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“We have a really strong squad now. We have a lot of players who have been on the bench who deserve to start and they are really good players.

“Benoit Assou-Ekotto is coming back after an injury, Scott Parker is back and I think we have a far better situation now.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs