Gary Neville has heaped praise on Mauricio Pochettino for putting his faith in Harry Winks in big games this season.

Neville was speaking to Sky Sports when he was asked about Pochettino’s use of Winks.

“He’s wonderful,” Neville said of Winks. “Do you think if there was another manager at Tottenham they’d play Harry Winks away in the Bernabeu? Or away at Old Trafford? Or at home against Real Madrid? Probably not.

“It’s OK when you’ve played him – ‘Oh yeah, course he’d have got in, he’s good enough’ – no, some managers wouldn’t even give him a chance.

“Mauricio Pochettino believes in young players. He believes in young English players. He’s put him in and the kid’s fantastic, and I love watching him play. But I’ve got to see him play to know I love watching him play, to know he can do it.

“How many managers would have the guts, the courage to put him in away at Real Madrid? Pochettino would. My old manager Sir Alex Ferguson, he’d do it, he’d throw him in. But not many would.”

Winks has pulled out of the England squad to face Germany and Brazil because of an ankle injury, but Spurs received positive news following a scan earlier this week.



  1. Neville is right about Poch, and also about Fergie. They’re not alone in blooding young players, of course: Everton, Bournemouth, and Southampton all do the same, but often from a sense of desperation where their ‘big money’ signings don’t deliver. Poch puts his young players in the team because he trusts them to deliver the same performance as his more established players.


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