Tottenham Hotspur managed to get the ball rolling again when taking on Southampton midweek, something that was pivotal after dropping points in the loss to Arsenal.
However, despite regaining their top three spot, it wasn’t all good news surrounding the game for Tottenham.
Kieran Trippier had a fantastic game on his first match back from injury, but unfortunately, towards the end of the game, was forced to hobble from the pitch.
Trippier was clutching his groin, a reoccurrence of the same injury he has had multiple times now.
It dates back to the semi final against Croatia in the Russia World Cup, where Tripps had to exit the fight due to injury, leaving his side down to ten men.
Bizarrely, the right back then featured in the third place play off against Belgium just three days later, something that could not have done the injury much good.
It has troubled him ever since, and he is now a doubt to play against Barca.
When asked if Trippier could play against Barcelona, Poch said (Football London): “I don’t know, I cannot guess. After he came off on Wednesday I think first of all we need to try…
“We are creating a plan for him to try to help him improve. If we apply common sense, it’s difficult for tomorrow to play when you come off. After 48 hours or 72 hours I think it’s not common sense to think in playing with him. And I don’t believe for Barcelona he’s going to be available. We’ll see, we need to assess him and we’ll see what happens, what’s going on. After, to be training and resting with a plan to improve his problem.
“He cannot cope with 90 minutes and what’s why we cannot make another mistake because after, in this busy fixture [period], it’s difficult to play with some players thinking that you need to manage the bench because maybe he won’t arrive to complete the 90 minutes.
“That’s why we need to be sure next time we think about putting him in to play that we’re right and that he’s going to cope with the 90 minutes After, something can happen in football and you cannot avoid 100 per cent the risk, but it’s so important to be right and of course thinking about trying to help him always, like we’re thinking for all the players.”
Pochettino also commented on Trippier playing in the third place play off: “I’m so clear in my concept. I think I explained on Wednesday in my press conference, when you come off and you leave your team with one player less, like it was in that case because all the changes were done, it’s because you have a problem, because you’re playing the semi-final. And after three days, to be available to play, it’s a little weird, no, this situation?
“In our opinion, and the way we see things, for me a player that asked to come off the pitch, it’s common sense that after three days it’s impossible to play because, if not, there’s something wrong in that situation. I told you that the problem started there for him.
“Remember when we gave him rest, when we were giving him more time for recovery, he didn’t start the season against Newcastle and after that, the first game in the Champions League against Inter Milan, remember I explained the cow and the train and the question ‘why? Why? Why? Why?’ And look.
“The people and you need to trust in our assessment and in our decisions because always we try to do the best for the players – sometimes to put pressure or confuse the people. But we’re always thinking in the same way because our priority is to help the players, to provide the best platform for them to perform.
“The first thing we are interested in is winning the games. Always it’s on this guy [points to himself]. Because when we lose the games, the first person to pay for that is this guy. The coach, head coach or the manager when games are not won is the first who is out on the street, away.
“Of course that is the reality in football. That’s why there’s a lot of things we need to change in football, but that perception is the same. The coaches always have the right reason to take the decision for one or another thing. We always try to win games, we never are going to be against ourselves, to play against ourselves.”
On whether he contacted England, Poch said: “No I don’t need to. They know how clear we are, after six years working in England. We’re the first that are interested that the national team take all the success that they can. I think we feel part of the success of the English national team. We’re always open to helping the coaching staff and the manager, and we have a very good relationship, a very open relationship, very honest, very clear. And maybe we now share our decisions and how we see things. [There’s] no problem. Always it’s about being positive in all the situations to help us of course, but to help the national team to have the best players ready to compete and win games. That’s the most important thing.”
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