MX23RW : Tuesday, February 19 01:33:01

It would be unfair of me to judge Solskjaer and Mourinho, says Pochettino

It would be unfair of me to judge Solskjaer and Mourinho, says Pochettino
© Reuters
The Tottenham manager will put his wits against Manchester United's interim boss on Sunday.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is not focused on the goings on at Manchester United ahead of their Premier League showdown on Sunday.

Pochettino is widely reported to be United's first choice to take over from caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford in the summer.

The Argentinian, who has said he would like to stay at Spurs for the next 20 years, was not willing to give an answer to why United have improved so dramatically since his friend Jose Mourinho's sacking, with Solskjaer winning his first five games in charge.

"I think from the distance it's so difficult," he said. "Of course I cannot be unfair with both managers. After Mourinho the reality is that they've won five games in a row.

"Always you know that when a new person arrives, or manager, it's like refreshing the atmosphere at the club, and for many players that maybe didn't play with another manager, it's an option to play more.

"It's a new voice that motivates you. But of course I'm not going to judge. It's so unfair to judge Ole because he's won five games or lost five games.

Pochettino is good friends with Jose Mourinho
Pochettino is good friends with Jose Mourinho (Nick Potts/PA)

"It's not fair to judge in both ways and it's not fair to judge Mourinho's job. Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world. For different reasons that I don't know, cannot perceive, his relationship stopped with the club.

"Of course for me only I am focused on trying to win the game on Sunday. Because we know that we need the three points to be in that race for the Premier League, to be in the top four, for the end of the season to be there.

"I have huge respect for Mourinho and of course for Solksjaer. I cannot talk about what happened and what is happening."

United have been in Dubai this week on a warm-weather training camp, while Spurs were involved in midweek Carabao Cup action, beating Chelsea 1-0.

Pochettino, though, does not think that will have an effect and says the reverse fixture, which Spurs won 3-0, will have even less bearing.

"The team is in very good form. Of course to win five games always builds confidence – your self-belief, your ego is high," Pochettino said of his opponents.

"They had the whole week to prepare in Dubai in a very good atmosphere and we had the semi-final against Chelsea, but that is not an excuse to say we're not going to compete.

"We are going to compete in our best way. I am completely sure it will be tough, but we must assess today Manchester United.

"When we played there it was 3-0 for us, but in the first half it should have been 3-0 to Manchester United. You remember I was so disappointed.

"The club have unbelievable players, structure and history in winning titles.

"Of course it's going to be competitive and I'm going to try to enjoy the game, because football for me is not a drama.

"It's on Sunday to enjoy a very nice moment and game between two teams who try to play very good football."


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Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino pictured on January 4, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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