Thursday 8 December 2016

Goal-shy Janssen will come good with time, insists Spurs boss Pochettino

Published 20/10/2016 | 15:01

Vincent Janssen has scored only once in 12 Tottenham appearances so far
Vincent Janssen has scored only once in 12 Tottenham appearances so far

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham's misfiring striker Vincent Janssen is feeling the pressure but insists the Dutchman will deliver given time.

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Janssen cost an initial £17million when he joined from AZ Alkmaar last summer and has been given an extended run in the team while Harry Kane recovers from injury.

The 22-year-old, however, is yet to score from open play in 12 appearances for Spurs, with his only goal so far coming from the penalty spot against Gillingham in the EFL Cup last month.

"He is not frustrated, he is disappointed as strikers like to score," Pochettino said.

"Always it is incomplete - if you play well but you don't score, something is always missing.

"But he is happy. He wants to show he has the quality to score and maybe he puts a lot of pressure on himself - 'I need to score, I need to score'.

"In the end, we need to calm him, say, 'Yes, good, don't worry, work hard, keep going and you will ensure you will score'."

Janssen's performances overall have been encouraging and he was unfortunate not to break his duck against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, when he hit the crossbar and had a goal disallowed for offside.

He scored 27 league goals to finish top scorer in Holland last season and Pochettino laughed off suggestions the forward is struggling to adjust to the Premier League.

"I laugh because we need to give young players time," Pochettino said.

"He's come from Holland and always those players from outside need time.

"It is true we and he would be happier if he was scoring, but it's a normal process. He's always focusing, trying to improve, work hard and that is the better way to start scoring.

"He only needs time. It always happens in football, there are a lot of examples in football.

"A similar period happened with Harry Kane and with Janssen it's the same. He's settled in the team."

Janssen is likely to start on Saturday against Bournemouth, where Kane scored a hat-trick last season, as Tottenham look to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Victory on the south coast, in the day's early kick-off, would also send Spurs top of the table before Manchester City and Arsenal play later in the weekend.

"It must be a big motivation for us, to finish the game and be top of the table," Pochettino said.

"It is impossible to have better motivation, today the atmosphere was very good on the training ground. Our players are conscious about that."

Bournemouth were beaten 5-1 and 3-0 by Tottenham in the league last season, but the Cherries have taken seven points from their last three and hammered Hull 6-1 last weekend.

Boss Eddie Howe has been linked with the England manager's job in recent weeks and Pochettino believes it would not be too soon for the 38-year-old.

"It is never too soon if you want it," Pochettino said.

"One day if it's in his mind to be manager of the national team and he has the offer it will be great for England."

Pochettino added: "Personally I like Howe and his staff a lot. It is difficult to be objective with him because I like him but it's always great to share principles.

"The philosophy and the job he has done at Bournemouth is fantastic."

Kane and Toby Alderweireld are not available as they recover from ankle and leg injuries respectively.

Kane began light training this week and work with the ball on Thursday, but needs more time to be ready for competitive action.

Danny Rose is a doubt after he left Leverkusen wearing a protective boot on Tuesday night. Pochettino said Rose's foot was heavily bruised and the full-back would be assessed on Friday.

Press Association

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