NEWCASTLE: Tottenham’s start to the season has been overshadowed by Danny Rose’s criticism of the club’s transfer policy, but Mauricio Pochettino insists his side are still in position for a strong Premier League campaign.
Rose attacked Tottenham’s lack of success in the transfer market – they have yet to sign a single player since the end of last season – by suggesting anyone they have bought previously was so unproven “you had to Google them.”
The Tottenham left-back also claimed he and his team-mates were underpaid in a shock blast that was far from ideal preparation for the trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
Rose has since apologised and Pochettino refuses to let the controversy distract him from leading Tottenham’s title challenge.
“Has he got a future? Of course. Will I keep him here? Of course,” Pochettino said of Rose.
“It’s a thing you know well, nothing changes my ambition and perception. The moment he apologises everyone moves on. It’s in the past.
“He apologised to the club and chairman and manager and fans. That is good.
“You can see the statement but at the same time I was a player and sometimes after seven months of not playing you are a bit frustrated. It is not a big issue and it is time to move on.
“I’ve not spoken to him because he is injured and going through the problems. We are in different dynamics on the training ground and so focused for Sunday.”
Pochettino is adamant Tottenham, who finished second last season, will make signings despite their lack of progress in the transfer market so far.
“If you see the last five years, always Tottenham sign players at the end of the transfer window,” he said.
“I don’t understand why it is now an issue. We will add some players to the squad and are working hard to add more possibilities for the future. With the players we have we can compete.
“We will sign like every season at the end, maybe on the last day. We need them to challenge for all the things.”
Tottenham remain without Rose due to a knee problem for the trip to St James’ Park, while Erik Lamela (hip) and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou (foot) are the only other absentees.
England striker Harry Kane needs just one goal to make it 100 goals for Tottenham.
One consolation for Pochettino is Newcastle have problems of their own as speculation swirls around the future of manager Rafael Benitez, who is clearly disenchanted by the club’s failure to back him in the transfer market.
Benitez has spent just £30 million on new signings since Newcastle’s promotion last season.
“We needed to change players and bring new faces. We have some of them, but I don’t think we will have too many new faces on the pitch, because we don’t have too many, to be fair,” he said.
“If you see the squad, it’s obvious that we need a striker. We needed to bring some players in some positions to have competition.
“Dwight Gayle was doing really well last year. But it’s another level and we have to see if he can replicate something similar in the Premier League. We need competition in each position.
“Not just because they will be better, but we need bodies. You have to be sure that you have enough quality to keep the level.”--AFP