Danny Rose explains furious response to being substituted in Tottenham win
Danny Rose has pleaded for an end to suggestions a rift exists between him and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino following an angry social media reaction on Wednesday night to his substitution.
Some fans immediately called for Rose to leave the club after he went straight down the tunnel and looked annoyed at coming off in the 70th minute, but Pochettino later explained that it was to receive stitches to a cut on his head.
It also followed rumours - denied by all sides - of a disagreement after he was dropped completely from the Tottenham squad that lost to Arsenal last month.
Rose was forced to apologise during the summer after publicly questioning Tottenham’s transfer strategy and he is adamant that there are now no problems in his relationship with Pochettino.
“This is getting silly now,” he said. “The manager said it was best I came off and I didn't want to come off. That was it. I’ve seen already that people are saying we exchanged words. There is no issue between me and the manager. There has never been an issue - and people trying to put stuff in the media is not welcomed.
“For the last three-and-a-half years the manager has been my biggest fan. He’s given me nothing but love and respect. There is no issue. There never will be an issue. People need to stop this because it’s not welcomed.”
Pochettino similarly played down Rose’s reaction.
"Players are never happy when they are going out," Pochettino told BT Sport.
"He had a big cut and the doctors said he needed a stitch and it was impossible to play on. Of course the player was frustrated because it was Champions League, but nothing wrong."
Rose was bullish about Tottenham’s prospects in the Champions League following their unbeaten haul of 16 points from a group containing Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Winning Group H should theoretically give them an easier match in the last 16, although recent finalists Bayern Munich and Juventus are both possible opponents.
“It’s not easy to go to the Bernabeu and get a point,” said Rose. “It’s not easy to beat Real Madrid convincingly here. I hope teams look at those performances and realise Tottenham are a team to be feared. When we turn up, we can beat anybody on our night. Whoever is out there, we are confident and we’ve proved that throughout the group stage.”
Pochettino, says Rose, would rather face another of the European giants. “I wouldn’t like Bayern, [but] I’ve said we don’t fear anybody. The manager would prefer us to have one of the top teams. He relishes those sorts of games. We’ve proved this season that we do turn up in these games.”
Rose believes that there is now a big opportunity for an English team to reach the final after five Premier League clubs qualified for the knockout phase for the first time in the tournament's history.
“It is an amazing achievement,” said Rose. “Everybody should be very proud of that because the English teams haven’t done so well in the last few years in the later stages of this competition. It will be a good chance for an English team to get to the semis or the final and I hope it’s us. United had an easier group. Liverpool’s group, compared to ours, wasn’t that difficult.”
Rose himself is still fighting to win his place back from Ben Davies in Tottenham’s Premier League team but, after missing much of 2017 with injury, expects to be back at his very best early next year. He has also put Tottenham’’s recent dip in results down to how they have begun matches.
“We’ve lost or drawn games because we’ve not started the games in the right manner,” he said. “When teams are coming here, especially like West Brom, they score early then they sit back and make it difficult for us to break them down.
“There are no excuses. We know that teams may do that when they come here and we’ve got more than enough quality in the starting XI on the pitch to be able to break teams down. We fully expect that from teams when they come here. It will be no different at the weekend (against Stoke) and against Brighton next week.
“I’m playing a game a week at the minute so hopefully I will get there if I stay injury free. Once I get through this Christmas period and into the New Year, I feel I’ll be 100 per cent.”