Pochettino ‘happy with squad’ ahead of Bayern Champions League clash
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was “so happy” with his squad as they prepare to face Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday after a turbulent few weeks.
Spurs have struggled to find consistency this season after an unsettling summer transfer window during which key players including Christian Eriksen were linked with moves that never materialised.
Last week’s League Cup exit to fourth-tier Colchester was a low point and Pochettino blamed that setback on “different agendas in the squad”.
But their 2-1 victory against Southampton on Saturday lifted them to fifth in the Premier League table and helped calm nerves.
Spurs let slip a 2-0 lead in their Champions League opener against Olympiakos to draw 2-2 but Pochettino pointed out that they also started sluggishly last year.
“Last season after three games we had only one point. No one believed in us, and after we got to the final of the Champions League (where they lost against Liverpool),” he said at his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“That is why in football, of course, it’s important but it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. That is why in a long season you need to be calm, you need to be strong in your mentality.”
Pochettino, who talked about the need to evolve every season and find new ways of motivating the players, said he was content with his squad ahead of the match against the five-time European champions.
“We are in a position that all is possible. I think we have a great squad,” he said. “It’s a big squad, good players.”
Defender Jan Vertonghen, who has been linked with a move away from the Spurs, played down rumours of dressing room unrest at the club.
“I am not going too much into that, the mood at this point is good,” he said. “It was a good win on Saturday. We showed who we really are.”
The Belgian refused to be drawn on his contract negotiations, adding: “I would prefer not to go too deep into that (contract situation) but there is always some movement.
“I am very ambitious, I feel like I have a couple of good years left in me. I hope I can help the team.
“It is my eighth season here. I have had a great past and I am feeling great in every single way here. That is all I want to say on that.”
Pochettino said he would like to keep Vertonghen but that he was not part of the negotiations.
“I am open to everything but that is a dealing between the club, him and his agent,” he said.