Football

Pochettino slams exit rumours, wants to extend 'life' at Spurs

EPL
ARSENAL TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed the “stupid rumours” that he could quit the club after their shaky start to the English Premier League season and said he wanted to extend his stay so he can rebuild the team.

Spurs make the short visit to north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday, looking for a reaction after last week’s shock 1-0 defeat at home by Newcastle United, which left them with four points from their opening three games.

“What can I say about stupid rumours? After five years now, I start my sixth season,” Pochettino told a news conference on Friday.

“You know how we worked this summer to rebuild and update because from each summer we have built version 2.0, 3.0, now we’re version 6.0. Only social media can create something that stupid.

“I will not walk away after Sunday’s game. The most important thing is to help the team on the pitch and make sure the communication is clear. I hope that I can extend my life here.”

Tottenham have a long list of injuries, worsened by Kyle Walker-Peters straining a hamstring against Newcastle, leaving the coach short at right back.

Record signing Tanguy Ndombele, defender Juan Foyth, midfielder Eric Dier and fullback Ryan Sessegnon have also been ruled out, while Pochettino said it was unlikely that Dele Alli would be able to return in time for the derby.

There is also continued uncertainty about the future of Christian Eriksen after Pochettino did not start the Danish playmaker against Newcastle, while defender Jan Vertonghen has not played any minutes so far this season.

The Argentine said he was not overly concerned by his shortage of players, even at right-back, where midfielder Moussa Sissoko may have to fill in.

“It’s not a worry, only an issue we need to fix, trying to find another solution,” Pochettino said.

“I am very optimistic that we will find the best way to perform. There’s no excuses. Always when one option disappears there is another option that appears and we will play with 11 players.”

Despite his side’s difficulties, Pochettino is looking forward to the clash at the Emirates Stadium, where Spurs have failed to win in the EPL since 2010.

“We know well what this game means. I’m lucky to be involved in this type of game. I love to play this type of game and I am so excited and optimistic that we will perform in our best way,” he said.

“It’s not important what happened in the past, only what happens now.” – REUTERS

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