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I apologised to Pochettino over leaked dossier on Spurs: Flynn

 

By Mark Bryans

Newport manager Michael Flynn has said sorry to Mauricio Pochettino after his FA Cup dossier targeting Tottenham weaknesses was made public.

Spurs host Newport in a fourth-round Wembley replay tonight after the League Two minnows drew 1-1 with Pochettino's side at Rodney Parade.

Newport were eight minutes from a famous win before Harry Kane equalised, but the aftermath of the game was dominated by the leaked dossier which exposed the Spurs areas that County were keen to exploit.

"I've dealt with the leak of the so-called secret dossier manager to manager," Flynn said. "Things have a habit of coming out and it happens. It's the way it is, nothing is private these days, but there was no malice in it.

"I apologised on our behalf to Mauricio for it getting out. It was helpful in preparing for the first game against Spurs because we needed all the help we could get.

"We exchanged numbers before the game. He shook my hand and gave me his details, which shows the class of him.

"We've exchanged a couple of messages back and forth. There is no issue here and he has bigger things to worry about."

Newport's dossier suggested Eric Dier was one-paced, Mousa Dembele gave away needless free-kicks and Dele Alli did not work to win possession back.

Michel Vorm was also singled out for not coming for crosses, and the Dutch goalkeeper was stuck on his line from such a ball when Padraig Amond put County ahead in the first half.

"There were a lot of good things in there also," smiled Flynn. "It's something we do on every team and we did it on Lincoln and Colchester in our last two matches. We've had other reports on Spurs done from their games against Liverpool and Manchester United.

"It gives you a lot of information, but it is what you do with it that is important.

"They should still have enough to turn us over, but you never know - and that's the beauty of the FA Cup. We are dreaming now, because dreams do come true occasionally."

Pochettino, meanwhile, insisted Tottenham are paying due respect to the FA Cup, despite the strong likelihood that he will put out a weakened side tonight.

Pochettino named a strong starting XI for the 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade, but following a draining 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday, and with the derby against Arsenal this Saturday and a Champions League last-16 tie at Juventus to follow, Pochettino promised a number of changes, with Juan Foyth, Fernando Llorente and Harry Winks in contention to start.

But he defended his decision to rotate his squad.

"We respect everyone," he said. "For us, all the competitions are important. I'm tired of explaining, but football is about 24-25 players, it is about quality of effort, and we are going to rotate because we trust all the players.

"For me, it is the same whether it is Newport or another Premier League team. We take the competition very seriously, and of course we are going to put our best starting XI to try to win the game. It is not important, the names. We are Tottenham and we must win."

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