Spurs boss reassures fans amid Real rumours

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino attempted to dispel the notion that he was unhappy about the delay in the completion of Spurs' new stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino attempted to dispel the notion that he was unhappy about the delay in the completion of Spurs' new stadium.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino reiterated his commitment to the English Premier League club, giving short shrift to speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Real sacked coach Julen Lopetegui last week and Pochettino's recent statement that he had his "worst feeling" in his 41/2 years at the club fuelled rumours that he could soon be on his way to Spain.

On Thursday, the Argentinian said he had no interest in the Real job and also attempted to dispel the notion that he was unhappy about the delay in the completion of Spurs' new stadium.

"Our fans need to know that I am focused on Tottenham, working so hard to help the club achieve what we want," he told a news conference ahead of today's trip to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League. "Rumour after rumour always happen not only at Tottenham but also at all the teams and you can't do anything."

The 46-year-old also said that his team were lucky to be allowed to play their home games at Wembley Stadium while their own new venue was being completed.

Spurs were supposed to move into their new 62,000-seater stadium this year, but that move has now been pushed to next year, with no official date set.

"We need to be grateful for Wembley, because without Wembley now, we play where?" Pochettino asked. "I think we need to be grateful because we can compete in London, close to White Hart Lane, close to our training ground and that's a massive advantage for us.

"Of course, you feel disappointed because it's not your home... But I think the legacy of (chairman) Daniel (Levy) and the board and what the club is doing for the rest of our lives and the next generation of Tottenham fans is massive.

"That's why we need to have patience to wait maybe a few weeks more, or months, to finish the stadium."

Despite having no home of their own, Spurs made their best-ever start to a season and sit fourth with 24 points from 11 games.

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele is likely to miss the rest of the year with ankle ligament damage, Spurs confirmed on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Belgian is just one of many of their World Cup stars to have suffered injury in the early part of the season.

Pochettino should be able to welcome back midfield duo Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama but Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen remain out.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'Spurs boss reassures fans amid Real rumours'. Print Edition | Subscribe