Sunday 19 January 2020

Mauricio Pochettino: Big players like Artur Boruc always difficult to manage

Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc, pictured, worked with Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton
Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc, pictured, worked with Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino maintains a warm relationship with Artur Boruc but admits the Bournemouth goalkeeper was a tricky player to manage at Southampton.

Boruc faces Spurs on Saturday, hoping to avoid a repeat of last season's meetings when Pochettino's men trounced the Cherries 3-0 and 5-1.

Harry Kane scored a hat-trick in the five-goal mauling at the Vitality Stadium and Boruc endured a day to forget as he conceded an early penalty before twice spilling shots he should have held.

Pochettino worked with the eccentric stopper during his year and a half at Southampton and says they maintain a close relationship.

"We had a nice time together at Southampton. He is very special and a great keeper," Pochettino said.

"We have a very good relationship and after the games (last season) we hugged and we spoke, but not about football.

"That is because always after a game one of you is happy and one of you is sad. So always the talk is about the human relationships.

"All keepers are 'special' and he is no different. He is very emotional and he always found love and warmth for me. He's a big guy.

"Was he easy to manage? No, but then big players and good players are always quite difficult to manage. You have to find a way."

A Tottenham win this weekend would send them top of the Premier League table, for a few hours at least, and extend their unbeaten start to nine matches.

Bournemouth, however, have run into some form themselves, having taken seven points from their last three and thrashed Hull 6-1 last time out.

Pochettino insists there is no room for complacency, despite last season's comfortable victories.

"I don't like to look in the past. Last season we played well there and got the three points but every game is completely different," the Argentinian said.

"We tell our squad always we need to be focused and live in the present. The past is in the past. Of course you can learn from it.

"But we need to go again and show we are better than Bournemouth and win the game."

Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld are both out with ankle and leg injuries respectively while Danny Rose is a doubt with a bruised foot.

PA Media

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