Belfast Telegraph

No regrets over Dawson - Pochettino

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has no regrets about allowing former captain Michael Dawson to join Hull as the north London side look to kickstart their Barclays Premier League campaign.

Dawson headed to the Tigers in August after not being able to hold down a regular place in the Spurs backline.

The 31-year-old, though, was a popular figure at White Hart Lane, with some fans suggesting he could have helped solve Spurs' inconsistencies following a fourth home Premier League defeat to Stoke before the international break.

Pochettino, who took charge at the start of the season, just wants to move on ahead of the clash with Steve Bruce's men at the KC Stadium on Sunday.

"It was not only my decision - we had a chat with Michael about the situation and we agreed the best thing for him was to join Hull," he said.

"We were transparent with him all the way and we had a very good relationship - we always talked face-to-face, but I don't (regret letting him go) because it wasn't only down to me.

"It was a shared decision - between me, Michael, the club, and we decided the best thing was for him to join Hull.

"It is always sad, for the people who have been close to you for 10 years, when you part because you share a lot of emotions together.

"But this is professional football and when you decide to do something different, you need to look forward.

"Dawson chose to join Hull shortly after I arrived, while the decision to sell (Jake) Livermore and (Tom) Huddlestone was taken before I came here, but I am not scared of our old players at Hull.

"We need to be more concerned about improving our own game and the focus will be on how we perform on Sunday.

"I have been happy with Younes Kaboul as captain and I am happy with all my players.

"We need to improve, it's true, but our problem is at home.

"We have only lost five games out of 19, but four of those have been at White Hart Lane."

Pochettino has no issues over the decision of Eric Dier to return to Tottenham's Enfield training complex from England Under-21 duty to spend time working on his defensive role.

"He needs to improve. Before he arrived here he played a lot of games here in right-back and centre-back and midfield," Pochettino added.

"His future is better if he improves in different positions, this is a good quality. It gives more possibility to play in the starting XI.

"I never understood why there was a problem.

"It was his own decision to speak with (Young Lions boss) Gareth (Southgate). He never consulted with us. It was a conversation between them.

"The players said he never refused to play right-back for Gareth, he just asked Gareth to release him so he could have a couple of weeks working with us."

Despite all of the current challenges at Spurs, the Argentinian remains positive.

"Yes, I enjoy. I have improved as a manager and as a person," he said.

"You know you need to cross your limit and you need to work hard, but all managers have difficulties in their careers. For me it is my passion, but it is a job too.

"I never switch off - this is my problem. Always it is 24 hours in my mind."

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