Pochettino will give Tottenham 'a day off' as Spurs boss jokes about unrest rumours

By Sports Desk October 22, 2019

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino joked that he will give his players a day off to stop all the rumours about unrest at Spurs following their Champions League victory.

Last season's runners-up Tottenham claimed a confidence-boosting 5-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in London on Tuesday.

Spurs have been unable to reach the lofty heights of last term after a difficult start to 2019-20 – highlighted by a 7-2 humbling against Bayern Munich – amid doubts over Pochettino's future.

There has been speculation that Tottenham players are unhappy with Pochettino's methods following just three wins from nine Premier League matches to start the season but the Argentine boss joked about the rumours post-game.

"I think it's about now staying calm," Pochettino said in his post-game news conference. "It's a good result but only three points. Now we have ahead a lot of tough games that are coming. We need to be solid. I want them to all be fresh that is why tomorrow they are going to have a day off, you know to stop all the rumours [laughs].

"Of course Thursday we are going to start to train and prepare for the game on Sunday. It's going to be a fantastic game. A few months ago we were playing the final against Liverpool and now in Anfield, a great atmosphere, with all the confidence to go there and try to have a very good performance again."

Asked if he is happy with the dynamic, Pochettino – who has been linked to Real Madrid and Manchester United – told reporters: "I am not happy and not not happy. I am facing the situation how the situation is, the situation we are living now.

"Of course, I am very realistic but in the same way it's a massive experience for us, a group that has never before lived this situation. It's all new.

"We have more experience because we're older men, Jesus is more than me, more experienced than me, but I think it's a great moment to grow, be more mature and of course it should help us to be stronger in the future."

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min led the way with braces, while Erik Lamela was also on target against Red Star and Pochettino added: "It was so important, an important result for our confidence and to add three points in the table for us was very, very important tonight. Of course very pleased.

"After the second half against Watford I was happy, not great as I told you, now the same, not great but good. I feel good. We start to see that it's only time that we need to recover our best feelings.

"We need to build that confidence of course. We need to go step by step, being solid again and that is only the first step, like the second half at Watford, to build again our confidence and try to perform in the way that we and everyone expect."

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    When asked about the matches he has not started, Modric told reporters: "I feel good. These games you mention I didn't play in, it's the coach's decision. When I come on, I hope to help the team and do a good job."

    Regarding his future, he added: "I feel good, I feel strong, and I still have plenty of football in my legs and strengths to continue, but let's see what happens in the future.

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    "I've said many times and I'll say it again, I'm very happy at Madrid and I'd love to end my career here, but let's see what happens.

    "Maybe you thought my answer was a bit cold because I've been asked many times and I've said the same answer many times. I feel good and I want to stay at Madrid for as long as I feel I can help the team.

    "Who wouldn't want to end their career at Real Madrid? But it depends on a lot of things. But there is no-one who'd be happier than me to continue at Real Madrid."

    Zidane's future – as it has been for much of his time back at the club – is also a little shrouded, with the Frenchman receiving criticism for Madrid's performances this season.

    Los Blancos are fourth in LaLiga after nine matches, six points behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand, and are third in Champions League Group B.

    Nevertheless, Modric insists the coach has the team's backing ahead of Wednesday's trip to Inter, who are propping up the table.

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    "Every time they ask us about him, the criticism he receives, of course we're with him. We've never doubted him. We've won many things together and we hope this continues in the future.

    "It's normal we defend our coach; it's always been like that. We've won many things with him and I hope we continue to win things."

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