Pochettino: Spurs back-ups can leave or wait until I am sacked

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says players not in his team are free to leave and he will not bow to pressure to play them.

Pochettino watched his side beat Fulham 3-1 at Wembley to make it two wins out of two in the new Premier League season.

Goals from Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane in the final 20 minutes earned the three points after Aleksandar Mitrovic had cancelled out Lucas Moura’s first-half strike.

But a five-minute monologue from Pochettino dominated the post-match press conference after he was asked whether Toby Alderweireld, who played 90 minutes, will stay at the club.

Toby Alderweireld
Toby Alderweireld made a rare start against Fulham (Martin Rickett/PA)

Speaking generally, Pochettino said: “I am so open if players want to leave, but if they are going to be here I want all commitment, if not we can find a solution.

“I am so tired to talk about if some players aren’t happy or some players want to leave. Of course every player if they don’t play will be disappointed.

“But the rules in football… look, you (England) created football and you create the rules.

“Why didn’t the English people in the past put 24 players on the pitch, why is the squad 25 players if you can only play 11? Why not like basketball that you can change every minute, why not like in Italy when you all can be on the bench and don’t have a list of 18?

Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino pulled no punches after the game (Steven Paston/PA)

“I am not going to waste time talking about individual situations.

“Players that don’t play need to wait until I am sacked or go elsewhere to find another solution.

“Wasting time like this is not going to change, not going to put pressure on me, no one is going to blackmail me, the club is not going to put pressure on me otherwise I go home.”

On the game, Pochettino, although impressed with his side, was left wanting more.

Lucas Moura, second right, scores Spurs' first goa
Lucas Moura, second right, turns away after scoring Spurs’ first goal (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s important to improve, but I am so happy with the victory because the performance was so good, we fully deserved the victory.

“I want to give the full credit to the players. But we need to improve if we want to challenge the big teams, it’s a situation that will push us to be better in different areas.”

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic knows his team will take time to gel after a second successive defeat.

Slavisa Jokanovic
Slavisa Jokanovic saw his side beaten again (Nick Potts/PA)

They had their moments, though, particularly soon after their equaliser.

“Tottenham are a team with quality that have played together for three years,” Jokanovic said.

“We have played two and a half weeks all together, we are a Premier League team in a building process and we need time. We need to adapt ourselves in this new situation for us.

“At the same time, if you can’t find an end product it’s not easy to bring something positive out of the game.”

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