What’s your reaction to the news that Harry Kane has signed a new contract?
Mauricio Pochettino: “I think it’s an important thing for us, for the club, for all. It’s great news and we all feel very happy because for a long time he’s showing his commitment with the club, with the project and that is a thing that is great for us.”
Is it a relief to you that this situation didn’t drag on?
Mauricio: “Always for the players it’s important to be calm in their minds, to be focused on playing and to improve every day. When they are involved in a negotiation like this it can affect (them) – I don’t mean it can affect Harry’s performance – but it’s important that now the deal is done, he can focus on his future, in training, try to improve and try to score the goals that he needs to.”
How vital is Harry to your long-term plans?
Mauricio: “I think that with Harry Kane, after two-and-a-half years, I showed you that he’s an important player and he was always involved in my plan. I think it’s very important for the future of the club, not only for my plan but for Tottenham’s plan for the future.”
Is your pose in the contract photos a source of amusement around the club?
Mauricio: “Yes, of course, we laugh a lot about that! It’s a funny moment but when you take the first player you make that (pose) and after that you can’t change because others ask why you’ve changed the way to approach the picture. It’s good. We started at first like this and today, it’s always like this now.”
How much of a boost is this news about Harry after the recent results on the pitch?
Mauricio: “I think its good news but it’s true that in the last month-and-a-half we all feel disappointed because, for different reasons – it’s too difficult to explain – maybe we talked a lot about our performance (not going) in the way that we hoped. I am very happy in this last week because I think we played well against Chelsea, we recovered that feeling that was there after the Manchester City game where we were very exciting. At Chelsea we lost but we recovered that feeling that we can play well and this week was perfect because we could spend time together at the training ground, training hard and having a lot of meetings. The response from the players was fantastic and now we only need to deliver on Saturday.”
Spurs are seven points off the top of the table. Does that mean anything at this stage?
Mauricio: “I think it’s too early to talk about the title or to be a contender. The gap is seven points but we will have the opportunity now to reduce that gap in the next few games. It’s up to us to try to do that.”
How has Moussa Sissoko responded this week after he wasn’t in the squad for the Chelsea game?
Mauricio: “His answer was good this week. I am happy with the answer from him, he is training very hard and then it’s up to me to decide if he will be involved or not like always.”
What’s the latest on the injured players ahead of the Swansea match?
Mauricio: “Erik Lamela and Ben Davies are still out but Toby Alderweireld was involved during the week in the training sessions. We are very happy with his evolution but it’s still a small thing that we are not sure about and we need to assess tomorrow if he can be available. It’s the same problem – the injury he got against West Brom. His evolution is very good, now he’s been involved in training during the week but still he feels that it’s not 100 per cent. But we’ll see tomorrow.”
There’s one month until the transfer window opens. Are you expecting Tottenham to be busy in January?
Mauricio: “Like the last two seasons here, if we have the possibility to add some players that can bring things that we don’t have in the squad, we are always open to improving the squad but you know always in winter it’s difficult to find that profile and to bring in a player that can help us with our squad.”
What’s your view on Swansea after their 5-4 win last week?
Mauricio “It was a crazy result but in the Premier League sometimes that can happen. For that reason the Premier League is the best league in the world but every game is different, every week is different and we’ll see what happens on Saturday. I am happy with the week in training and the response of every player after Monaco and Chelsea. Today I can tell you that I am very happy, the answer of the players was fantastic, during the week they worked very hard, they showed that they want to change (the results) and for that reason I am very calm now.”
Will the news of Harry Kane’s new contract keep the players buoyant going into the weekend’s game?
Mauricio: “The dressing room is good, the players talk a lot, we are training a lot too – two double sessions today and the day before yesterday – and I think today’s news is very good for the changing room, for the fans, for the club and for Harry of course because Harry knows how he feels about Tottenham. I think it’s fantastic news for all but in football you need to compete and on Saturday a team is coming that wants to compete with us and we need to show that we are better than them, to try to win the three points and try to reduce the gap to the teams that are above us.”
Can you tell us a bit more about Erik Lamela’s injury and what the problem is?
Mauricio: “It’s difficult to explain because I am not a doctor but we are a little bit worried about his situation because his evolution is not in the way that we expect. I am not a specialist, I am a coach but it’s true that his evolution is not how we expect and we need to give more time to recover. It’s a hip problem. I cannot say when he will be back.”