Sport Soccer

Monday 26 September 2016

Ben Davies reveals Tottenham players joked about Mauricio Pochettino exit

Published 28/05/2016 | 22:36

Tottenham's Ben Davies
Tottenham's Ben Davies

Ben Davies has revealed how the Tottenham squad joked that Mauricio Pochettino was on his way to Manchester United.

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Spurs manager Pochettino and former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson met for lunch in London last month as speculation intensified over Louis van Gaal's future at Old Trafford.

Tottenham said at the time they were aware of the meeting and had no issues with it, and Pochettino signed a new contract the next day committing himself to Spurs until 2021.

Van Gaal was eventually sacked as United manager this week after two years in charge and replaced by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

"A few boys cracked jokes that he was going, but he signed a new contract the next day so all fears were out of the way," Davies said about Pochettino and Ferguson, now a United director, being pictured leaving a Mayfair restaurant.

"I like to think he (Pochettino) was tapping up his (Ferguson's) experience and there was no ulterior motive.

"We have a club where everyone, players and staff, is trying to learn all the time.

"I think he spoke to someone like Sir Alex Ferguson to pick his brain as part of his learning and where he can improve."

Spurs fought Leicester hard for the Barclays Premier League title before fading in the final few weeks of the campaign.

They eventually lost second place to north London neighbours Arsenal on the final day of the season, but Pochettino's young side still have Champions League football to look forward to next term.

"We earned the right to be there and it's exciting times," Davies said. "It's where every club wants to be playing.

"It's everyone's ambition to be there and we don't have to go through the qualifying stage.

"I like to think we will be stronger for the experience last season.

"People experience highs and lows in football.

"Sometimes the lows teach you valuable lessons that hopefully we can learn from and kick on from."

Davies said he texted his Wales team-mate Andy King to congratulate the midfielder on Leicester's title success.

And the defender's attention has now turned to Wales' Euro 2016 campaign in France next month.

"I'd like to think this is the start of something," the 23-year-old said from Wales' pre-Euros training camp in Portugal. "We've worked hard to get to this situation.

"There have been some tough times but we've stuck together as a group and come through it well.

"We don't just want to be the first Wales team to qualify (for 58 years) and that's it.

"We will keep working hard and hopefully winning games to qualify for major tournaments like this."

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