Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino urges creative Spurs players to keep on shining

By Mark Bryans

Mauricio Pochettino wants to keep his playmakers firmly in the spotlight after they all shone brightly in a comfortable win over QPR. The new Tottenham head coach is well known for advocating an attacking philosophy and it was his front players who stole the show on Harry Redknapp's return to White Hart Lane as Spurs romped to a 4-0 victory.

Erik Lamela, the club-record signing whose early-season rejuvenation under Pochettino is clear for all to see, as well as Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor, proved far too strong for the back three deployed by Redknapp.

Chadli scored twice in the first half, either side of a second goal in as many Barclays Premier League appearance for Eric Dier, while Adebayor added a fourth in the second-half to take Spurs top of the embryonic table.

And Pochettino was full of praise for his wealth of attacking talent, insisting he always wants to let them play unshackled.

"Lamela, Adebayor, Chadli and Eriksen create the movement and rotate – they are free," he said.

"We work a lot on the training ground but it is important that the players are free in their minds because they are creative players.

"You can not put the players like that in the shade, you need to provide the organisation but after that they are free.

"It is true that Lamela can improve a lot. He is still young and when a young player arrives in a different country it is hard to adapt.

"We all know his skills and we are very pleased for him and for all of the squad – today was a very good day."

Despite being pleased with his first competitive home game in charge of Spurs, Pochettino was quick to dispel any early season talk of a title tilt.

"It is nothing," he replied when asked about Tottenham sitting top of the table. It is two games. The most important thing is to try and develop our style and philosophy, today we showed our basis.

"It is important to keep the reality and stay calm. If you lose two games you are in danger but we need to keep calm, it is only the beginning of the season."

Redknapp saw his side given something of a run around, especially in the first-half as his back three of Rio Ferdinand, Steve Caulker and Richard Dunne were exposed.

Although he introduced Nedum Onuoha at half-time and reverted to four at the back, the 67-year-old is keen to persevere with his new 3-5-2 system.

"I don't know if that (the system) is a problem," he said.

"We played okay last week playing that way, it is about energy really. We were slower on the ball and were off the pace a bit – in certain areas we weren't sharp enough."

With Charlie Austin ruled out with a hamstring injury, Redknapp played Matt Phillips up with Remy and the Scotland international was guilty of missing the best chance of the game for the visitors with the score at 1-0.

Redknapp was jeered by the travelling QPR contingent in the latter stages for acknowledging Tottenham fans calling for him to wave at them.

But he brushed aside those complaints and insisted it made no difference where his side lost, just that certain issues need addressing.

"I'm sat there watching the game and there are punters up there singing 'give us a wave'. I don't know what punters they are – it isn't a big deal," he said.

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