New Straits Times

Poch: No changing course for PSG despite criticism


Mauricio Pochettino says he has the support of the Paris Saint-Germain players and he will not change course despite criticism of the style of play of the Qatar-backed French club.

The 49-year-old Argentinia­n was in attacking mode in Monday’s press conference ahead of PSG’s final Champions League group game with Club Brugge late yesterday

The former Tottenham Hotspur boss defended his record since he took over earlier this year, after Thomas Tuchel was fired, saying PSG are 11 points clear in Ligue 1 and through to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

“Thank you very much, I am well, calm and feel I have the support of my players,” he said.

Pochettino has come under fire for his side lacking the belief his Spurs team did, this despite having superstars Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi at his disposal.

Mbappe has scored his fair share of goals but Neymar — who is injured — and Messi have rarely been near their best.

Sergio Ramos, their high-profile defensive signing, has proven the biggest disappoint­ment, the former Real Madrid star playing just once due to injury.

Although clear in the title race, they have drawn their last two in Ligue 1 and were fortunate to share the points in the 1-1 draw against Lens on Saturday.

“I understand that people criticise the team, we respect all points of view,” said Pochettino. “Could we play better? Yes. “Can we improve certain aspects? Yes.

“But the spotlight shone on PSG and noise around the club will not help us advance.”

Pochettino, who has been linked with the job at Manchester

United where Ralf Rangnick has been installed as interim manager, said PSG have a strategy.

“We, players and staff, have clear ideas about where we are going,” said Pochettino.

“We are in the process of growing, we are progressin­g.

Pochettino said he and the players would not be swayed by the criticism.

“The process will not be altered for all the noise and criticism,” he said.

“We are winning, we lead Ligue 1 by 11 points, and have qualified for the Champions League knockout stage.”

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