MX23RW : Sunday, March 24 01:25:54

Mauricio Pochettino to make late call on World Cup returnees

Pochettino to make late call on returnees
© Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is still unsure which of his World Cup returnees will feature against Newcastle United in 10 days' time.

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he intends to wait until next week before making a decision on which of his returning players will feature in Tottenham Hotspur's opening Premier League match.

The Lilywhites are still without nine of their World Cup participants - more than any other Premier League club - as Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane all reached the semi-finals in Russia.

Spurs boss Pochettino will have a full selection from Monday, though, five days before taking on Newcastle United at St James' Park, and only then will he decide whether to risk each player on an individual basis.

"First we need to assess them on Monday and see what happens," he told reporters. "Maybe some players look after themselves and they've been training, maybe others rest, we need to see and of course we are not going to take risks if some players are not ready to compete, to play, they are not going to be involved at the weekend.

"That is so, so clear. I make clear today the statement that if someone is not ready, he's not going to be involved because we are not going to take risks.

"Of course it's not our fault. It's the reality that happens and pushes us to take some decisions that sure maybe doesn't help the team from the beginning but we need to help some players because after the World Cup, minimum 20 days they need to rest and stop thinking about football.

"That is the reality that is for us is a massive challenge, because for us it never happened before and we need to be careful."

Spurs, who have yet to sign a single player this summer, beat AC Milan 1-0 in their most recent pre-season outing.


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Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld in action against Brighton & Hove Albion on April 17, 2018
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