Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino confirms appointment of Steve Hitchen as chief scout

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Picture: PA

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hitchen returns to White Hart Lane after spell as head of recruitment at Derby County

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham have appointed Steve Hitchen as their new chief scout.

Spurs, who elected not to sign any players in the January transfer window, are restructuring their recruitment operation, with head of recruitment Paul Mitchell serving his notice period and former chief scout Ian Broomfield departing in December.

Hitchen returns to White Hart Lane after having a senior role in the Lilywhites’ scouting team when Harry Redknapp was in charge. Midfielder Luka Modric moved to north London during his previous spell at the club.

Pochettino said today: “It’s true about Steve Hitchen. It’s a different position [to Paul Mitchell] but I can confirm he’s been working from Monday.”

While Tottenham are beginning to look ahead to the summer transfer window, they have managed to tie down most of their senior players to long-term contracts.

Eleven players have signed new deals this season, and Pochettino feels that show of faith bodes well for the future.

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“The most important step is that the players believe they can achieve their dreams,” said the manager. “If you believe Tottenham is the right place to achieve your dreams, we will be very close to winning trophies.

“For me it’s the first time it’s happened, that in the last few months so many players have extended [their contracts] and shown their commitment. Maybe 80 per cent have shown that and want to be here long-term - it’s my first experience like this.

“When I look at different clubs it doesn’t happen, what’s happened here, which is very good news for us.

“It’s a very good point - to achieve big things the players need to dream and to show commitment with us.

“Time is very important in football. You can spend £400million to build a winning team and buy all the best players in the world and try to win today, or you build a different way to try to win at the end, and for that you always need time.”

Pochettino continued: “For me Tottenham, with the history, is always above every manager, player, staff. That is the most important thing.

“Sometimes we say if we don’t get the Champions League or Europa League it might be difficult to extend the contracts of players who want to win. But come on, Tottenham is bigger than anyone. It’s important to start to be clever.

“I want to play for Tottenham, want to manage Tottenham, because Tottenham for me is a big club with a big history, big fans and in the very short future will be one of the best teams for facilities, with this new stadium.

“The important thing is that Tottenham want to give me the chance to manage here for a long time. That is the most important thing and sets the principle when you arrive here as manager, coach or player. You feel the responsibility is to work and achieve big things.”

Tottenham head to Anfield on Saturday and can move seven points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool by beating Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

But Pochettino said: “I am thinking of the top of the table. That is not a problem today, whether it’s seven points. Our objective is to reduce the gap against Chelsea and we need to be ready to fight, because it will be a very difficult game.

“For me Liverpool have one of the best squads, if not in England then in Europe, and it’s sure they will be motivated because Tottenham against Liverpool is always a big match.”

Spurs will be without Danny Rose, who suffered a knee injury in last Tuesday’s match at Sunderland, but Pochettino said: “It’s not a big issue, it’s a minor problem. We’ll see, we hope as soon as possible he can be available again.

“He’s very positive we’re very positive. He’s happy. I was talking with him now before this press conference. We’re happy after he saw the specialist.”

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