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Mauricio Pochettino jokes about decorating Tottenham's tunnel after bust-up


Toby Alderweireld has been ruled out until February by a hamstring injury

Toby Alderweireld has been ruled out until February by a hamstring injury

Toby Alderweireld has been ruled out until February by a hamstring injury

Mauricio Pochettino has joked Tottenham may have to paint the see-through tunnel at their new stadium black after the bust-up following Manchester City's win over Manchester United.

A fracas occurred between staff and players at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Manchester United understood to have taken exception to the way City enjoyed their 2-1 victory.

Spurs face City on Saturday and both clubs are set to include a 'Tunnel Club' at their grounds next year, allowing fans the chance to see players before and after matches.

"The tunnel is with glass, big glass, like the bank glass, very safe," Pochettino said with a smile.

"But now yes, City and Tottenham, both, maybe (have to) paint it black. Or at half-time, curtains - before the game, open, half-time, closed. Or if not you must pay double if you want to open them!"

Pochettino said scuffles in the tunnel were not unusual during his time as a player.

"In France too they were tough, playing (for Paris St Germain) against Ajaccio at half-time I remember a massive fight in the tunnel," Pochettino said.

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"You didn't see but they was fighting between us. It was terrible. Sometimes it happens.

"Was I hurt? No, I was clever. It was tough. After you are scared a little bit because it was like we were animals fighting and you do not know what happened. I don't know if it was similar.

"You can talk when you're calm and relaxed, but when something happens on the pitch and you are under stress and emotion sometimes you cannot stop and it can happen."

Before City, Spurs host Brighton on Wednesday and Pochettino has confirmed Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld will be out until February with a hamstring injury.

It means the defender is likely to sit out crunch Premier League games against Manchester City and Manchester United but could return in February for matches against Liverpool and Arsenal.

Spurs then face Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on February 13.

"We cannot change the reality. The reality is that he is injured and cannot play until February," Pochettino said.

"Some players have more influence on the team. But we have squad enough and players who can play."

Pochettino insisted Alderweireld's absence would not push him to look for defensive additions in the January transfer window, with the Argentinian insisting he has plenty of options for cover.

Serge Aurier and Ben Davies are both capable of playing more centrally, while 19-year-old Juan Foyth could be promoted.

Eric Dier is likely to continue alongside Jan Vertonghen against Brighton as Davinson Sanchez is serving the second part of a three-match ban.

Spurs will also be without Victor Wanyama as the midfielder has only just resumed light training after his knee injury.

Erik Lamela, who recently recovered from a year-long hip problem, is in contention to start.

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