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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Pochettino: Wenger should concentrate on Arsenal and not worry about what Tottenham are doing

The Tottenham manager annoyed by comments from rival manager as he prepares for FA Cup fourth round encounter at League Two side Newport County on Saturday. 

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was not happy about comments made by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. David Klein / Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was not happy about comments made by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. David Klein / Reuters

Mauricio Pochettino has told Arsene Wenger to keep quiet about Tottenham Hotspur and insists all the praise heaped on Spurs is deserved.

Before Arsenal's League Cup semi-final win over Chelsea on Wednesday, Wenger said pundits "celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years".

His comments were taken as a dig at Tottenham and Liverpool, who together have lifted only two trophies since 2008.

Pochettino took exception to Wenger's analysis. "I'm so young and only five years in the Premier League, in two clubs Southampton and Tottenham, but there's no point to talk about another team," the Argentine said during a news conference on Thursday.

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"Praise? Of course we receive praise. Football is not only to win trophies, it's the circumstances of different clubs.

"For me he is and will always be one of the best managers in the world, I respect him, but I think he needs to talk for himself and for Arsenal."

Pochettino added: "For me he is a special manager, but everyone sometimes makes a mistake and for me he made a mistake to talk about us or a different team."

Tottenham travel to League Two promotion hopefuls Newport County on Saturday in the fourth round of the FA Cup, which realistically now represents Pochettino's best chance of winning silverware this season.

"We have to be ready to fight and put ourselves in the same level as them," Pochettino said.

"The same motivation, no complaints, no excuse-finding, we try to believe that we are going to play against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the Champions League."

Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose have returned to training after recovering from hamstring and knee problems respectively, but this weekend could come too soon for the pair.

Newport share their pitch at Rodney Parade with two rugby teams, Newport and Dragons, meaning the surface may not be kind to players just coming back from injury.

Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris will be assessed after suffering from illness last week while Serge Aurier (calf), Harry Winks (ankle) and Erik Lamela (gluteus) are all doubts.

Seventeen-year-old midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe could make the squad.

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