Gary Neville believes that Mauricio Pochettino is one of the few managers brave enough to even think about playing Harry Winks at the Bernabeu.
Winks has been knocking on the first team door for the past couple of seasons at Spurs and this season has really been a breakthrough season for the young midfielder.
However it may have come as a surprise to some when he was included in the starting lineup to face European Champions Real Madrid last month as he lacked consistent first team experience especially on a stage that size.
Neville has said that Mauricio deserves a huge amount of credit for Winks’ development, and he argued that few managers would have had the courage to put the academy graduate into the starting XI for the first game with Zidane’s Galactico’s.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said “Harry Winks is wonderful but do you think if there was another manager at Tottenham they would have played him away at the Bernabeu? Or at Old Trafford or at home against Real Madrid?”
Neville added “It’s okay once you’ve played him and you think of course he would have got in, he’s good enough, but some managers wouldn’t have given him a chance.”
Neville continued: “Pochettino believes in young English players, he’s put Winks in and the kid is fantastic. I love watching him play, but I’ve got to see him play in order to love watching him play and see that he can do it”
Neville suggested that Perhaps only his old mentor Sir Alex Ferguson would’ve been bold enough to trust a young player like Winks on such a huge stage.
He said: “How many managers have the guts and courage to put him in at the Bernabeu? Pochettino did and my old manager Sir Alex Ferguson would, he’d had thrown him in.People would think it’s not a game for him tonight, but what if it is? Imagine what it would do to the fans and for him. Ultimately you’ve got to have a manager who has the belief in youth and creating an opportunity”
High praise for our manager from Neville. Pochettino is a manager that works on trust and is fearless when it comes to throwing anyone in if he feels they’re ready and time and again he is proven right. Pochettino is the best manager at Spurs in a long time and the England national team are now reaping the benefits of his dedication too
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