Written by

Alla Zakarian

31-08-2018 | 17:30 Football

Pochettino’s every word on Son national service, player exits and Lioris

Watford and Tottenham Hotspur both have perfect winning records so far, but that cannot last as they prepare to go head to head at Vicarage Road. Every single word Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino said in his press conference ahead of the game at Watford What is the extent of Hugo Lloris' thigh injury?
We'll see. The idea is of course he is going to miss the game against Watford. We hope he will be ready again for Liverpool. It's not a big issue.
What has the mood been like around the place after the win at United?
My mood wasn’t great. I was so disappointed. I think we need to improve our performance. The first half I wasn’t happy and I translated that to the players. We need to fight against the perception. When you compare the perception and the reality, we need to talk about the reality, and the reality was in the first half we can concede one, two or three goals. But of course the team showed character and in the second half we were much better. I think we dominated and we created the best options. But if we want to fight for big things, before talking to you and expressing our feelings to the media and our fans, it’s about trying to improve. And we need to improve because it’s only three games from the beginning of the season. We need to show we are contenders during 10 months and we need to improve our performance. That’s how I translate the idea and how I felt and how the week was. We’re going to play on Sunday against a very good team – a team that’s going to fight and is in a very good moment, After three games they’re over the moon. Of course if we're not ready and we believe because we beat Manchester United 3-0 that all is fantastic, I think we are going to crash. That is my mood, my thought. That is how I feel football.
Is it easy to keep the players' feet on the ground?
It’s easy to talk about perception. When you’ve beaten Manchester United 3-0 in Old Trafford, an historic victory, it’s easy to say our performance was fantastic and they were not so good. But when you watch again the game I think the line was very thin, to be in the left or right, in the positive or negative. Still in the last three games we’ve conceded a lot of chances. Our keeper made an unbelievable save to keep the team alive. Of course after we scored we showed character and many positives things, but come on. If we want to fight and be a contender, we need to talk on the pitch and not outside. We need to show we are capable after 10 months, not only after three games.
Are you surprised about the reaction around United?
I don't talk about the opponent or about another club. There are a lot of things to be focused for us here at Tottenham. We are so busy, so many things happen. When you win because you win, or draw because you draw or lose because you lose. It's so important to keep working, to have a very good balance. Maybe I repeat and sorry if it's boring, it's about the perception and the reality and the players need to feel that. Maybe one point is the perception, but the reality is different and only what one tells inside. We need to keep our idea and show that we work hard and improve.
Today is the European transfer deadline - do you know expect to keep Dembele, Rose and Alderweireld?
I told you, I don't know why you focus on a few names. I never talk about names. I think you need to be focusing on 24, 25 or 26. Some players may have the possibility at the last minute to have an offer. But of course for different reasons that I said before, some players that are going to leave they don't receive an offer. Players who do receive an offer don't want to leave. Another who expect to have an offer they are still waiting. But it's not only a few names. It's 25 players. My position you know very well. That's why I don't want to talk. If something happens it happens, if some offer arrives and a players who wants to leave leaves. We are not going to push someone to leave. I am happy with the squad that I have. Look, I talk about reality and I don't guess what's going to happen, or the perception or what people believe is going to happen inside.
Can you tell us which players there have been offers for?
No, I never talk about this. But I don't say the reality is that they had offers. Maybe we didn't receive one offer. I didn't say that happens. Only I describe the reality. The reality is all the players are here and then it's up to you and the people to guess what happens inside. That is the problem. People love to talk. Today with social media and everything, everyone has an opinion. Everyone explains how they feel. Of course they're entitled to listen or to hear or sometimes the information arrives. Like I told my players, the problem is I take the decision and I am in charge. I am the boss and that is why the club picked me four years ago.
With the club applying to play at Stadium MK, who do you feel about it? Some fans are unhappy and some are happy to travel.
You cannot make all the people happy. Maybe someone complain and create a big noise. The most important is the decision of the Football League is to us to pick the venue. We are going to make a decision and the best for the team. But of course we need to take a decision. The circumstances are so difficult. Our idea was the stadium was done for these days, but it's impossible. Wembley is of course, it's so difficult it's a situation you cannot change. Of course it's very difficult for us. The problem is for us, it's not for our opponent. We are more disappointed than everyone. For our fans it's to try to understand the circumstances of the club. What can we do? It's not ready the stadium. Okay, maybe I can go after the press conference and help the builders to do it. But it's impossible to do more. We need to be patient and understand that the club is doing every it can to finish the stadium and have everything ready to compete there. It's easy today to complain, it's easy to agree or disagree. But for our board and our chairman, it's so complicated.
What kind of builder would you be?
I am head of my department. Maybe with my finger point and say "There, there and there". The most important thing is to be patient and help with my action and words, like all the people to help the club. It's a difficult moment. Like I told you in every single press conference since the start of the season it's easy to complain, but the most difficult is to be patient and work hard to sort the problems and fix the problems that are creating a stadium that is still not ready to compete.
What was your reaction to Tottenham drawing Barcelona?
I think when you going to play PSV, Inter Milan or Barcelona that's like last season, the real Champions League. We are going to play every game and they're Champions League games. With the Premier League it's the best league in the world. It's so exciting to face this kind of club. Of course it's so exciting. I come back to my town Barcelona. Always it's exciting to play against a team like Barcelona, Inter Milan or PSV. Of course it's a young team PSV but it's exciting to play there too.
Watford have had a really good start to the season, what has impressed you?
Every season some club appears like this that has started very well. They have very good players, and I know the manager very well, Javi Gracia is a very great coach, a fantastic coach and it is not a coincidence because they did a very good job last season and they started well this season and it is going to be tough to play against them. It will be a difficult game but an exciting game as we are both at the top of the table and surely it will be a fantastic game to see.
Roberto Pereyra, do you know him at all?
Of course, he is Argentino. He is a very good player, has played in big clubs and started the season very well. He struggled a little bit last season with some injuries but now he is fully fit and he is a fantastic player.
Harry Kane, began at Watford and said it helped him, is there a relationship there?
When you are young and have the possibility to play in a different club your memories are always so good because they provide you with the platform to improve your game and build your career. It is important to have this opportunity at a different club and it is a very important club for him and I'm sure it helped for him to be the player he is today.
Son has a big match this weekend, do you wish him luck?
Yes, of course. I'm not going to wish luck because I haven't so far and I don't want to be the person who wishes him luck and then something wrong happens! It's so difficult in the spotlight. Of course, it's such an important game for him. We all hope we can win.
Have you spoken to Son about national service?
Yes, it's a subject that we talk about a lot. He was worried and he wants to deliver the victory and win because he wants to avoid it, of course.
What about if he doesn't win, with his contract?
If, if something wrong happens, it's not in our hands. We'll see what happens. But he's our player. We look after him and we care about him but we're positive and we hope we can score and win, be happy and enjoy his career here with us.

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