Mauricio Pochettino wants fresh faces to complete rebuilding project

AFP| Updated: Aug 14, 2015, 09:49 AM IST
Mauricio Pochettino wants fresh faces to complete rebuilding project

Mauricio Pochettino admits he still has work to do as the Tottenham manager reshapes his squad ahead of Stoke`s visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Pochettino`s side slumped to an underwhelming 1-0 defeat at Manchester United last weekend and the Argentine remains keen to add to his options before the end of the transfer window.

The former Southampton boss has overseen the departure of seven senior players during the close season, with strikers Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor also likely to leave shortly.

And with only three new faces - Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier - coming into the club, Pochettino is short on numbers as he attempts to improve on last season`s fifth place finish in the Premier League.

In particular, he is keen to bring in a striker to work alongside Harry Kane and ease the workload of the young England international.

Kane had an outstanding season after breaking into the side last term, but Pochettino knows he needs someone to share the burden of providing his team`s cutting edge.

"I think we need one more striker and we have different players that can play like a striker," Pochettino said as he prepared for Stoke`s visit to north London.

"We have different offensive players that can play in different options, but I think we don`t need too much players to bring in."Pochettino will put his transfer plans to one side to focus on a Stoke team who did the double over Tottenham last season.

A second successive defeat will certainly puncture any early season optimism and increase the pressure to recruit, although Pochettino insists the club will not be rushed into making panic buys.

"We are working to take the right profile, the right player. But we don`t take a rash decision. We wait for the good opportunity to bring in," Pochettino said.

Pochettino has a fully fit squad to choose from and midfielder Ryan Mason is anxious to get Spurs` season up and running with a win

"I thought we were unlucky against United, but Stoke at home is going to be a difficult game as well," Mason said.

"But it`s our ground and we`ll be confident of picking up the points."

Xherdan Shaqiri watched Stoke lose narrowly to Liverpool last weekend, and saw enough to convince him that he was right to become the club`s record signing, completing a £12 million ($18 million) move from Inter Milan on Tuesday.

The Swiss winger says he is fit enough to go straight into the starting line-up at White Hart Lane, and seems eager to make a fresh start after a brief and unhappy spell in Italy.

"I am happy that my time there was really short," he said. "Many things were not good."

Although he refused to elaborate, his decision to leave was undoubtedly hastened by a lack of opportunities under boss Roberto Mancini.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is expected to give an immediate chance to Shaqiri, who he described as a "game changer", when he names his team to face Tottenham.

Hughes` side lacked such a player in last weekend`s 1-0 defeat against Liverpool, despite impressive displays from new boys Ibrahim Afellay and Marco van Ginkel, and he is hopeful that his newest signing will ensure they win tight matches, rather than lose them.

"We saw last weekend that the game changed because an individual created something out of nothing," said Hughes, referring to Philippe Coutinho`s spectacular winner for Liverpool.

"Xherdan has that ability as well. We need players with a sprinkle of stardust to change games."

Hughes remains without the creative talents of Marko Arnautovic and Bojan Krkic because of injury, although the Spain forward will play for the club`s Under-21 side this weekend.