Trippier: I’m learning so quickly under Pochettino at Tottenham
Kieran Trippier says he has had to develop his game since joining Tottenham in the summer, but he feels he is improving quickly under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino.
The 25-year-old right-back, who arrived from Burnley for £3.5million in June, initially struggled and made defensive errors in his first three Europa Leagues games against FK Qarabag, Monaco and Anderlecht in Brussels.
However, his performances have got better and he marked his first Premier League start for Tottenham at Watford on Monday by setting up Heung-Min Son’s late winner as the Lilywhites triumphed 2-1 and moved up to third place in the table.
“It was a bit difficult at the start, moving down here, but all the lads, the staff and the people around made me feel so welcome,” said Trippier.
“I’ve spoken to a few of the boys. Walks [Kyle Walker] came from Sheffield so we’ve got a great relationship, the same as all the other players. I talk to the lads and they’re making me feel so settled.
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“I’m adapting quickly to the style of play here and what the manager needs of me, and all I can do is give my best when I’m called upon.
“There are a lot of things [I’ve had to adapt to] - playing out from the back and getting forward, playing as a winger at times. Sometimes it’s different to what the manager at Burnley wanted me to do but I’m enjoying every moment that I get and I’ll do my best.
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“Since the first training session, you pick up things so quickly with this manager it’s unbelievable, and with the players you’re playing with every week it can only benefit you and help you to get better.
“I’m not playing every week but I try to do well every day in training and impress, and the manager believed in me to play in this game and give a good performance, and the most important thing is we got the three points and it’s pushed us further up the table.”
Pochettino tends to favour a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the full-backs providing much of the width. However, he opted to play with three centre-backs at Watford in a bid to combat the Hornets’ 4-4-2 system, and that gave Trippier even more licence to attack.
He embraced that role and put in a number of dangerous deliveries, with Harry Kane heading wide of the near post before substitute Son met an 89th-minute cross with a backheeled flick past ex-Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
“I just want to get forward as much as I can and get as many balls into the box as possible for H [Kane] and whoever’s on the end of it,” said Trippier.
“I was happy to get an assist but most importantly we got the points because it’s not an easy place to come to. It was a great finish but that’s no surprise from Sonny because he does it in training every day, with the skills he’s got.
“It’s a massive victory, coming to Watford, who have been on a good run, so we’re all full of confidence and the belief is high in the dressing room.
“It just shows the energy we’ve got as a team - even playing against 10 men, because it’s not easy. With the fitness, the mentality and the belief we’ve got, we thought and we knew we could win the game and we got the last-minute winner and the three points.
“We just want to take it game by game and this was another marker and a statement so we’ll enjoy this victory and get ready for Everton next Sunday.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs