Po­chet­tino plays down links with va­cancy at Real

Spurs man­ager be­lieves he and his squad should be flat­tered by gos­sip

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER - Paul MacInnes

Wolves v Tot­ten­ham Mo­lineux, to­day, 7.45pm Live on Sky Sports Mauricio Po­chet­tino has played down links with the va­cant Real Madrid job by com­par­ing them to the glance of an ad­mir­ing woman.

The Tot­ten­ham man­ager has de­vel­oped a taste for colour­ful metaphors this sea­son hav­ing pre­vi­ously com­pared his side’s ex­pe­ri­ence in the Cham­pi­ons League to a cow wait­ing for a train. Now, after an­other tur­bu­lent 10 days for the club, he used a ro­man­tic im­age to sug­gest the lat­est gos­sip should be cause for con­fi­dence in his squad.

“It is like you are with your girl­friend or wife and you are hold­ing hands, walk­ing down Ox­ford Street. But be­cause you are so hand­some an­other woman is look­ing at you. But your wife is so proud, and, rather than wor­ry­ing, she is so happy to be with you and falls more in love with you.”

“Mas­sive”

The wife in this sit­u­a­tion refers to the Tot­ten­ham squad in gen­eral and Dele Alli in par­tic­u­lar. The mid­fielder signed a new six-year con­tract this week, and said work­ing with Po­chet­tino had been a “mas­sive” fac­tor in his de­ci­sion to re­new.

The man­ager ac­knowl­edged that his play­ers trust he will con­tinue at Spurs, but warned that their al­le­giance must be first and fore­most to the club.

“Yes, the play­ers are con­fi­dent in me. But it is not that they at­tach to me only. If I be­lieve that Dele is only go­ing to sign a new con­tract be­cause of me it’s a bad feel­ing. I think the club needs to al­ways be above the man­ager and the play­ers. The player must say I sign be­cause I want to play for Tot­ten­ham. Oth­er­wise it’s dif­fi­cult to achieve big things.”

Spurs bounced back after bad re­sults against PSV Eind­hoven and Manch­ester City to knock West Ham out of the Carabao Cup in mid­week, and they play at Wolves tonight fifth in the ta­ble, five points off the top.

Ru­mours

How­ever, an­other post­pone­ment in the open­ing of the club’s new White Hart Lane sta­dium cast a cloud over events on the pitch. Po­chet­tino urged pa­tience.

“We are very close to cre­at­ing, in terms of fa­cil­i­ties, one of the best clubs in the world. Of course ev­ery­thing comes with a cost. Some­times to win ti­tles to­day is dif­fi­cult, for many rea­sons that you and our fans know very well. But some­times pa­tience is short and frus­tra­tion is there. I think we are so close to reach­ing the last level, but we need to have that pa­tience that makes us stronger.

“When I ar­rived at Tot­ten­ham the first video that Daniel [Levy] showed me had a mes­sage: ‘When we are talk­ing about Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, we are talk­ing about the glory.’ “I want to feel the glory with Tot­ten­ham. I think when I watch video from the 1960s it’s very emo­tional, and I think it would be fan­tas­tic to de­liver that mo­ment again for our fans. ”

– Guardian Vi­tal­ity Sta­dium, to­day, 12.30pm Live on BT Sport 1 José Mour­inho be­lieves Manch­ester United will soon be in the top four and once there they can con­sider chal­leng­ing for the ti­tle.

United are in eighth place with 17 points, five be­hind Arse­nal, who are in fourth, after 10 games. Mour­inho is con­fi­dent his United side can bridge this gap and then as­sess if a tilt at a 21st cham­pi­onship is pos­si­ble.

He said: “When you are out­side the top four I don’t think you should speak about the ti­tle. When you are there, which we are go­ing to be, you can look up, see the dis­tance, look to the fix­tures, to the cal­en­dar,

PHO­TO­GRAPH: THOMAS BAKKER/AFP/GETTY IM­AGES

Mauricio Po­chet­tino: “I want to feel the glory with Tot­ten­ham.”

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