Monday 5 December 2016

Mauricio Pochettino backs his young Tottenham squad to deliver

Published 18/12/2015 | 22:36

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino wants his players to bounce back against Southampton on Saturday
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino wants his players to bounce back against Southampton on Saturday

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham have already laid the foundations to win titles in the future but says his young side must grow up fast if they are to reach their full potential.

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Spurs' young stars like Dele Alli and Eric Dier have flourished under Pochettino this season while the club is making strides off the pitch too, with revised plans for their new stadium receiving council approval this week.

It suggests Tottenham's long-term future is bright but there is an opportunity in the short-term too as Pochettino's side look to take advantage of teams faltering at the top by finally securing a place in the top four.

Their momentum took a knock, however, with last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to Newcastle, ending a 14-match unbeaten run in the league, and Pochettino admits his starlets must mature if they are to achieve success this season.

"It is difficult to be consistent when you start," Pochettino said.

"At Tottenham after 18 months we have put the basis for sure in the future to win some titles. We are sure because the basis is very strong.

"We have a very young squad that can only improve for the future. We only need time.

"We have the youngest team in the Premier League so sometimes we have to expect that we have bad days, like we had Sunday.

"It is important to analyse and say, 'hey, we need to learn about that and move on quick' because football doesn't wait for you.

"We take a risk to have a younger player in the squad so we need to help them a lot. That is important to be consistent.

"We have been consistent from the beginning but different moments will be tough for them and now they need to have the tools to move forward."

Tottenham's greatest chance arguably comes from the demise of Chelsea, who sit 16th in the table, 11 points behind Spurs and 14 from the Champions League spots.

Jose Mourinho's departure on Thursday might yet revitalise the Blues but Pochettino points to the team's dramatic downfall as an example to his players of how quickly fortunes can change.

"Football is present, it's a good lesson for all of us what happened yesterday," Pochettino said.

"You need to focus on the present and try to work hard to try to avoid different things because it's difficult to guess what will happen in months or weeks."

Spurs visit Southampton on Saturday, hoping to close a three-point gap on Manchester United and bounce back from the shock loss against Newcastle.

Saints are winless in five matches and Tottenham can make up ground in the coming weeks with fixtures against Norwich and Watford next up over the Christmas period.

"I think we need to learn about the last game that it is impossible to have the two faces we show," Pochettino said.

"The players feel the same as me and are disappointed too. The first half was fantastic and second half wasn't in the way we want to play.

"It was hard for us as the expectation was big and we missed the opportunity to stay in the top four but we have a young squad and need to learn about that.

"We expect a very tough game as Southampton have one of the best squads in the Premier League and a very good manger and St Mary's push the people and supporters, but we are ready to compete.

"Our objective is to win the three points and try to recover our feeling and performance."

Press Association

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