Mauricio Pochettino won`t be distracted by Spurs` issues

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his only priority is improving results on the pitch, starting at Sunderland on Saturday, rather than getting involved in the club`s off-field issues.

AFP| Updated: Sep 12, 2014, 10:09 AM IST
Mauricio Pochettino won`t be distracted by Spurs` issues
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino

London: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his only priority is improving results on the pitch, starting at Sunderland on Saturday, rather than getting involved in the club`s off-field issues.

The north London outfit issued a statement this week denying any takeover talks had been held following reports that owner Joe Lewis was keen to sell the club, who are in the midst of finalising plans to build a new stadium next to their existing White Hart Lane home.

An appeal against a compulsory purchase order by a neighbouring business has forced Tottenham to reschedule their original plans and they have now been forced to look for a temporary home for the 2017-18 season.

A number of potential venues have been mooted, including Wembley and Milton Keynes, a new town almost 50 miles to the north of the capital.

But Pochettino, who saw his side heavily beaten at home by Liverpool before the international break, won`t be distracted as he prefers to focus on the more pressing goal of getting his side into the top four.

"My pressure is to try to win every game, not any pressure from the owner or outside," he said. "It is the beginning of the season and we need to improve.

"We need to work hard and win a lot of games. You always need time and you need passion. You also need results and I think we are heading in the right way."Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado will miss the clash with Gus Poyet`s Black Cats as the Spain international has a neck problem.

Defender Kyle Walker is a long-term casualty and midfielder Nabil Bentaleb may be left out as he made a late return from international duty with Algeria.

New signings Federico Fazio, the former Sevilla defender, and Benjamin Stambouli, the midfielder recruited from Montpellier, could make their debuts.

Sunderland boss Poyet admitted he was left unsatisfied by the club`s work in the transfer window as they try to avoid a repeat of last season`s battle for Premier League survival.

The Wearsiders failed to land top target Fabio Borini after a long-running saga, but added defender Sebastian Coates and winger Ricardo Alvarez to the squad before the deadline. 

The arrival of Borini`s Liverpool team-mate Coates and Inter Milan`s Alvarez saw Sunderland end the window with eight new players, and the two later additions could be involved against Tottenham.

Reporting a fully fit squad, Poyet said: "It`s easy to say I`m happy because then everyone would be delighted. I`m all right, but I wouldn`t say I`m happy.

"We expected to have a certain number of players, we were close to doing a couple of important things, but we tried.

"We tried our best. What we got was the best we could do. I don`t want to reflect on how it went because it is not fair."

Alvarez has arrived on a season-long loan and should provide an exciting option down the left-hand side, although he can play on both flanks. 

"People will think that Ricky is the substitute for Borini, but he is not," Poyet said.

"It`s different opinions. Ricky is a player who is exciting on the ball, he will create things on his own but he is not a proper scorer.

"We can`t say he is a replacement for the other one. He is going to play in a position where Fabio played last year, but I don`t know if he will play on the left all the time."