Mauricio Pochettino has briefed the media ahead of Tottenham’s trip to West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
Spurs have the opportunity to strengthen their grip on a place in the top four before their rivals for Champions League qualification, Chelsea and Liverpool, meet on Sunday.
A number of topics were on the agenda at the press conference. Here are three things we learned.
Mousa Dembele will be assessed on Friday
The Belgian midfielder twisted his ankle against Watford on Monday night and had been deemed doubtful for Saturday.
But according to @BenPearceSpurs, Pochettino said Dembele will be assessed on Friday, and if he isn’t available for West Brom he should return against Newcastle United on Wednesday.
#thfc Pochettino says Mousa Dembele, who twisted his ankle v Watford on Monday night, will be assessed after today’s training session. If he’s not available tomorrow he should be ok for Wednesday v Newcastle. Poch says Monday’s win improved the atmosphere after the FA Cup loss.
— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) May 4, 2018
With rumours the 30-year-old is set for a summer move to China intensifying, Tottenham fans will want to see him in action as often as possible before his potential exit.
Raul’s visit was a valuable experience
Real Madrid legend Raul visited the club’s training ground this week as part of his coaching course, and Pochettino says the experience was valuable for the club’s young players.
“I want to say thank you too because he was open to meeting our younger players too,” said Pochettino (via (Ham&High). “It was fantastic, 45 minutes talking about his career, giving advice to the younger players. Of course our captains, Hugo [Lloris] and Harry [Kane], met him yesterday.
“It was a fantastic day for us, to see how humble he is – a player like him who is a legend. He shared a lunch with us afterwards and all the players were saying hello, and then there was the possibility to train with us. It was amazing for everyone.”
Saturday will be a “massive battle”
Pochettino was keen to stress how difficult Saturday’s encounter with West Brom could be with the Baggies still fighting for their Premier League survival.
“The battle will be massive,” he said (via Ham&High). “West Brom have been showing great character in their last few games, having the capacity to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and draw with Liverpool.
“The team has more freedom, they show massive belief in every game. That is the most important thing – that we are going to face a team that believes, that fights, that isn’t giving up and still believes they can survive.
“Of course it will be complicated for them but they still believe. It will be a massive battle for them, but also for us because we’re playing to be in the Champions League next season.”