Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United managers Mauricio Pochettino and Slaven Bilic are both looking forward to their English Premier League clash on Saturday, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
“You’re trying to scare me. It’s exciting to play this type of game. We’re so focused to finish that period,” Pochettino said during his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“That’s tough too. We will play the derby with West Ham now, they we will fly to Cyprus for nearly five hours, then come back, arrive here at 5pm and prepare for Huddersfield on Saturday.
“The international break we will have all the players away so it will be difficult to prepare and work hard to try to engage everything. For our new players it will be fantastic but it’s impossible because they’re all internationals
“It’ll be a busy period in October and November, I look forward, it is so exciting, it will be tough but they are so excited to be playing Champions League against Real Madrid and Dortmund as well as Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham again in the Carabao Cup.”
On the quality of star striker Harry Kane, the Pochettino said: “I’ve told you Harry’s one of the best strikers in the world, and that’s the confirmation – how people around the world see him.
“It says clearly that people recognise his value and he’s one of the best, playing for Tottenham, when we still haven’t won trophies.”
Pochettino was asked to comment about sacked England women’s national team coach Mark Sampson who reportedly made racial remarks towards Eniola Aluko, sister of Super Eagles forward, Sone Aluko.
He said: “I don’t have all the information. You know I don’t read too much. I don’t hear too much on the TV and don’t read the media.
“It’s so difficult for me to give the right opinion. That’s why I prefer to say nothing because the reality is I don’t have all the information to give you an opinion that I think in the end is not important for you or the fans.
“I think we need to move on from that question.”
Pochettino exonerated Dele Alli from any wrongdoing following his goal celebration on Tuesday (cupping his ears) in the Carabao Cup after he scored against Championship side Barnsley and insists it was just a reference for a friend in the crowd.
“It’s nothing related with us, the fans, the club. It was only a joke with one friend in the stand. Yesterday he told me,” the Spurs boss said.
Pochettino’s rival Bilic was ecstatic on his team’s recent good form, saying: “We have stabilised. We went step by step, sorting out basic things. The confidence is back, we want to build on that now.”
Bilic commrnted on why Javier Hernandez had not been playing as the leading striker. He said: “Okay, he is not playing closest to opponents goal but then we are playing with those three strikers, he is not playing wide.”
Bilic stated that his captain Mark Noble is an asset to have and lauds the discipline he brings to the team.
“It is important to have Mark always, not just this game, he is our skipper. He gives us shape, discipline and it is great to have him back in the team. Where is he going to fit? He is important to us.”
On Marko Arnautovic, Bilic said: “He got the reward and I agreed with his man of the match on Tuesday. I expect it from him and I want to see it more regularly. He has got everything.”
And on not conceding a goal in the month of September, the West Ham manager said: “It is good. The class is permanent but the confidence can vary during games, the season, whatever. The results, clean sheets, 4 points, 3-0 against Bolton, it has all helped. Suddenly we are better on the ball, more compact, it’s all linked.”