What’s the latest on Harry Kane’s injury and how long is he expected to be out for?
Mauricio Pochettino: “He’s got an ankle ligament problem, we need to assess him every day and we’ll see but it’s impossible today to give a time for recovery.”
Is the bruising around the ankle stopping you from getting a really accurate time frame?
Mauricio: “I can only explain to you what the club doctor said to me. It’s impossible to know now how long he will be away from the pitch but we believe that he can be available as soon as possible. He’s in a very good mood, we chatted before I came in here in the restaurant and he’s in a good way.”
How much of a good chance is this for Vincent Janssen to step into the breach?
Mauricio: “When we sign players and we build a strong squad, it’s for that. If you have some problems like we had against Sunderland, it’s important that players are ready to compete and that is why football is a collective sport. Always when we talk, it’s about the squad, it’s about teamwork. It’s a good opportunity for different players to have the possibility to show their quality, to challenge and to compete for a place in the starting XI.”
What’s the latest on Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele after they went off in the Sunderland game?
Mauricio: “It’s a different situation to Harry Kane – it’s not a big issue, today they need to have a scan to see how they are but we don’t expect a big problem for them.”
How pleased have you been with Heung-Min Son’s recent form?
Mauricio: “Very pleased, very happy. In the last few weeks he deserved to play and because of that he is in the starting XI. I think that he is happy that he started to score against Stoke and then had a good performance against Sunderland. That is what we wanted and expected from him when we signed him.”
Does the Gillingham game give you a chance to take a look at some other players?
Mauricio: “It’s a very important game for us. I think that we cannot start to talk about whether we will take the game and the competition seriously or not. Of course we will take it seriously because we play as Tottenham, not play as some names. It’s important to rotate the starting XI to give a chance to players who have not had the chance to play too much in recent weeks and it’s an important challenge for us. We want to go further in the competition, it’s important to be ready tomorrow and compete in the way that we need to compete. Our plan is to rotate the starting XI tomorrow. It was our plan because seven games in 20 days is always tough. I explained to you before that when we play in the Premier League and Champions League it demands a lot of energy and because of that it’s a good opportunity to give a chance to players to show their quality.”
Does the fact that Gillingham are managed by former Spurs player Justin Edinburgh add an extra dimension to the game?
Mauricio: “Gillingham beat Watford (in the last round) and it’s true that it’s a team at another level to us but in the cups they are always difficult and tough games. We will give Justin a very good welcome, we know him and his assistant who played for us and how they love Tottenham and I think it’s a good opportunity to share a good moment with them. It’s an important game for us, we need to play better than them. The competition is always difficult but it’s in our hands to handle the game and show that we deserve to go to the next round.”
How pleased are you to see another player in Dele Alli sign a new contract?
Mauricio: “Always it’s good that the players show their commitment to the Club. It’s not the last one, maybe we will have some others (signing new contracts) in the next few weeks.”
With both yourself and Justin Edinburgh having made the transition from player to manager, is there anyone in your current squad who has shown an interest in becoming a manager in future?
Mauricio: “Yes, it’s true that some players, if they want, can be a manager but I don’t want to give any names because maybe they will challenge with me in the future! You can feel that there are some players who can be a manager one day if they want.”
Does Harry Kane’s injury force you to change your tactics?
Mauricio: “No, we have another proper striker like Vincent Janssen who can do the same. It’s true that they are different but we can play in the same way. It’s a big loss for us but that happens in football sometimes. We need to be ready to try to replace him and I think that Vincent arrives in a good moment where he is ready to compete.”
Do you think that Harry can take some positives in that, by the time he comes back, he will have had a rest?
Mauricio: “We need to be positive, now the damage is done and we can only be positive and try to help him to become stronger than before. It’s important to help him, it’s a good opportunity to build not only his fitness and his mentality but to work hard in different aspects to help him to become more strong.”
How important is it that players like Heung-Min Son and Erik Lamela start chipping in with goals?
Mauricio: “It’s very important because it’s about the team and teamwork and always I think it’s important that they share the responsibility in front of goal.”
Can you tell us a bit more about Vincent Janssen’s talents?
Mauricio: “You can see his qualities. Of course, it’s difficult when you only have the opportunity to play some minutes. The strikers are always excited to score and sometimes feel the pressure but now he needs to be calm, only play and be sure that he will have the opportunity to score. It’s a good opportunity tomorrow to start to play, compete and to feel important in the team.”
What’s the latest on Danny Rose?
Mauricio: “Danny is still out for tomorrow but is very close to being available. Maybe at the weekend, maybe not. Today we cannot be sure if he is available or not.”
Is there any chance that we might see some academy prospects playing tomorrow such as Shayon Harrison or Marcus Edwards?
Mauricio: “Shayon Harrison is injured. It’s unlucky for him because if not he would be in the squad tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow Marcus will be in the squad, maybe.”