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Spurs v West Ham - Mauricio's press conference

Posted on 17 November 2016  - 18:15

Mauricio Pochettino faced the media on Thursday ahead of Saturday's derby against West Ham in the Premier League.

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Can you update us on team news?
Mauricio: “I can confirm that Ben Davies, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela are still out for the weekend. We also have a doubt with Dele Alli and we need to assess him tomorrow."

With regard to Toby, how long do you think he will be out for?
Mauricio: “From the beginning we believed it would be a short process to be available again but the knock he got affected the nerve and the process to recovery has been slow. Today, he’s nearly ready to join the group again and that’s very good news. Perhaps it’s one week to 10 days if all goes well.”

What percentage chance do you give Dele Alli to start against West Ham?
Mauricio: “We need to assess him tomorrow but we’re very happy. He showed today that he’s in good condition. Then we need to analyse if we take a risk or not, if he’s on the bench or we protect him for Tuesday or next week. We’re happy it wasn’t a big issue and if it’s not for Saturday, he’ll be available for the squad on Tuesday.”

Below: Mauricio with Harry Kane on Thursday

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Is Harry Kane ready to play the full 90 minutes?
Mauricio: “We’ll see. Training was good after his return from the national team. He’s a little tired today because training has been hard. We don’t know about 90 minutes and we also need to manage him for the next games, Monaco and then Chelsea. We’ll see what happens during the game. He’s in good condition.”

You didn’t win a game between the international breaks. Did this break come at a good time?
Mauricio: “If we win on Saturday, it was good. It was good to have more time to rest and time to recover for the injured players. That was good. In terms of the result, we’ll see.”

West Ham is one of 10 London derbies, does that make it more difficult to win the league?
Mauricio: “Every time we play and compete in the Premier League, the opponent takes the game like a derby or a final. That is good. This is another derby, another final for us. Every time we play, the opponent gives their best.”

Last season the team had a great record with injuries, how tough is this spell?
Mauricio: “This can happen. You can control many things but a percentage of injuries you can’t control. Toby’s injury was very strange, Ben Davies was a twisted ankle - it happens and we’re not worried. The only thing that we would be worried about would be if it was the same injury. These are all completely different.”

Have you been creating enough chances or are you not as potent as last season?
Mauricio: “Yes, we’re creating many chances every game, the problem is that we need more chances to score. Maybe we’re not as clinical as we were last season. It’s about working hard and trying to improve.”

Below: Kyle Walker and Josh Onomah in training on Thursday

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In terms of this game, how important is a win?
Mauricio: “Yes, but it was the same before Arsenal. Every game is important - important to win, to take three points, important for confidence and self-belief. The most important game is always the next one.”

West Ham have just one defeat in six, they are much improved…
Mauricio: “It will be a different game. Our responsibility is to watch the games they have played over the last month, but derbies are different. These are games you play with passion, with your heart. It will be very tough and I don’t think their record over the last month is important.”

How big is the week ahead with West Ham, Monaco and Chelsea?
Mauricio: “That is competing at the highest level - you always need to be ready. It’s true, it’s an important week for us.”

Dylan Duncan and a couple of goalkeepers from the Academy (Brandon Austin, Jonathan De Bie) trained with England, how important is that for them?
Mauricio: “It’s important, a good experience for them and good for us. It’s important that the national team want to train here. It’s a good opportunity to create links with the staff and then to have the possibility of them using our younger players, that’s a great experience for them that they can use in the future.”