Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

It Isn't Ideal But We Have Quality - Mauricio Pochettino Addresses Squad Size

It Isn't Ideal But We Have Quality - Mauricio Pochettino Addresses Squad Size

It looks likely that Spurs' first game at their new permanent home will be against Manchester United, with their first game of 2019 being away to Cardiff City on New Year's Day.

Spurs have not seemed to miss the 22-year-old too badly winning all three of their Premier League fixtures during his absence, although fans of the North London club will be delighted to hear that the talented playmaker is close to regaining full fitness.

Most of Pochettino's key players had next to no recovery time after playing deep into the World Cup in Russian Federation while Tottenham have played six of their opening nine games away, albeit winning five of them.

Guardiola even suggested Pochettino would again be in the frame should the Real Madrid job become available in the near future with Julen Lopetegui under severe pressure.

Man City are unbeaten in their last 15 Premier League games (W12 D3), since a 2-3 defeat to Man Utd in April.

Guardiola claimed on Friday he believes Spurs are among a group of five title contenders separated by just two points at the top of the table before the weekend began, also featuring Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. "The circumstances, because many things happen; I am disappointed we are still waiting for the new stadium when the expectation was to be there at the beginning of the season. I'm sure all those involved in the pitch will work hard to make sure it's in good condition".

But Guardiola rejected the notion that last term's player of the season would not be risked in a game the league leaders go into only two points better off than Spurs. They were a far better team than anyone else, but this year you get the feeling that it could be different.

"I think White Hart Lane was different to Wembley". I'm feeling confident and I'm looking forward.

"We have a lot of focus and you know very well when you are competing with sides like we are in the Champions League and Premier League, the most important thing is to fight in the same conditions as others", he said. "That we had 100 points is because we were focused on all the games".

Pep Guardiola has been critical of his Manchester City players stating they need to remain professional should they be dropped.

"That's why maybe the games against the contenders are becoming so important".

"It was not the plan to be at Wembley, different things can happen like the National Football League games and you cannot change the date and we need to accept that as reality and not complain".

Both City and Spurs also like to play out from the back, often letting another midfielder in deep alongside the central defenders for numerical advantage to play out, with Eric Dier often occupying this role for Tottenham while Fernandinho fills in for City.

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