LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino has warned his men he will not pick players out of "charity" if they do not meet his standards.
The Tottenham manager has frozen out Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen for the opening two Premier League games, while Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama is reportedly set to be sold.
Both players have been regulars in the past, with Vertonghen's omission especially notable given his largely impressive form.
Pochettino insists he does not owe anybody a favour when it comes to team selection.
"I am only going to decide to try and provide the best players that are in my head to play," he said ahead of today's Premier League home clash with Newcastle.
"If I don't play someone it is because I believe there is another that is better. This is very clear.
"It is all about performance. It is all about today. Football is about today and tomorrow, not yesterday."
Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld have been preferred to Vertonghen in defence for their 3-1 win over Aston Villa and the 2-2 draw at Manchester City.
"We are in a team. We are not a charity first of all," Pochettino added. "We can stay here talking for one hour. I am the coach and need to take the decision.
He also admitted he is concerned Christian Eriksen's future at Tottenham is still to be resolved ahead of the Sept 2 European transfer deadline. The Danish midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and said at the start of the summer he was looking for a fresh challenge.
"Of course it is not a good situation for him and everybody else," Pochettino said. "He is an important player who needs to help the team with his performances.
"I always tell the player to not be affected by the (transfer) rumours. It's not easy. But Christian has a character... He's not affected by the rumours or situation." AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN
TOTTENHAM V NEWCASTLE
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