Tough-talking Pochettino is taking no prisoners this season

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 August 2018

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (pic: Steven Paston/PA Images).

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (pic: Steven Paston/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The Spurs boss has challenged his squad ahead of Monday’s fixture away to Manchester United

The Premier League campaign is only two games old, but it feels like the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino means business.

Ahead of the season opener away to Newcastle United on August 11, he unleashed a passionate defence of the club’s decision not to sign a single player during the summer transfer window.

The following week Pochettino was in front of the press again and this time answering several questions about the stadium delay with total class and dignity.

And then on Saturday, after a 3-1 win over Fulham at Wembley Stadium, the Spurs boss got a few more things off his chest in a five-minute response to a question about Toby Alderweireld’s future.

While it was a long answer, the Argentinean made a number of key points about the need to focus on the collective, how if anyone wants to leave they can and how he only wants committed players.

It was a real show of defiance by Pochettino, but wasn’t the only interesting part of his post-match press conference.

He also looked ahead to Spurs’ next league fixture which is on Bank Holiday Monday (August 27) away to Manchester United and fired a warning to his squad.

When asked if England right-back Kieran Trippier had returned from an excellent World Cup slightly different, Pochettino joked: “No, the same, just with some cramp.

“No, of course you increase your confidence and your trust in yourself, but the most important thing is to stay humble and keep working.

“In the end England didn’t win. Still with Tottenham, we didn’t win and that is true because only Hugo (Lloris) won with France.

“In football we are here to try to win, not to be fourth, third or second. We are trying to be first, so the most important thing to understand is it was a fantastic World Cup for everyone, but only Hugo won the World Cup.

“We now need to show we are winners by winning trophies and we need to be happy and we are, but we have only won two games.

“The performance was good, but our next game is Monday at Old Trafford and that will be another challenge, and it will show if we are ready to compete for big things or not – that game is going to show us.”

Pochettino could have played down the importance of the clash with Jose Mourinho’s side, but it appears he has done the opposite and invited his team to show their mettle. How will they respond?

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