Poch: We won’t man-mark Payet

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Mauricio Pochettino has instructed Tottenham to pay special attention to Dimitri Payet on Saturday but says there is no plan to man-mark the West Ham playmaker.

Payet is yet to hit the heady heights of his debut season in the Premier League but has still scored or assisted five of the Hammers’ 11 goals this term.

He remains the greatest threat to Spurs registering their first win in eight matches this weekend. But asked if Pochettino plans to try and mark the Frenchman out of the game, he said: “No, because we never play like this.

“We have played against top players during (my) two and a half years at Tottenham and you can see we never focus on that type of player, like (Eden) Hazard or David Silva who can change a game.”

Pochettino continued: “It never was my intention when I started as a manager, facing Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, to try to do something special or be focused on trying to stop this type of player.

“The most important thing is to try to recover the ball quickly, to have the ball more than them, to try to focus on how we need to damage our opponent.

“It’s true that when you are close, you have in front of you a type of player like Payet in this case, it’s true that the players who are in his zone need to be aggressive, tight, try to anticipate, and not give him space to play.

“It’s true that we’re talking about that. But it’s not a special mark on him.”

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