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Pochettino gives backing to Soldado


Roberto Soldado, pictured, has been defended by Mauricio Pochettino

Roberto Soldado, pictured, has been defended by Mauricio Pochettino

Roberto Soldado, pictured, has been defended by Mauricio Pochettino

Misfiring Roberto Soldado retains the confidence of Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose staff are creating training exercises to help get the Spaniard scoring again.

Having arrived last year to much fanfare, the 29-year-old has struggled to find the form which saw Spurs fork out £26million for his services.

Soldado has managed just six goals in 34 Barclays Premier League appearances and has not found the net since September's 3-1 Capital One Cup victory against a scratch Nottingham Forest side.

His wait for a goal stretched to an eighth match in all competitions on Thursday, although the Spain international came close on a number of occasions and hit the post during the 1-0 defeat of Partizan Belgrade.

Pochettino was impressed by Soldado in that Europa League tie and is working extra hard with the striker to get him scoring again.

"We need to give him the chances to play again and keep him calm," the Spurs head coach said.

"A striker always wants to score but against Partizan he created chances pretty well and was unlucky in front of goal. Maybe next time he will score.

"We work very hard at training and create the exercises for him to improve his finishing in front of goal, but he created many chances and he was unlucky not to score (against Partizan).

"In football it's always mental and emotions, performances, physical condition, all these things affect your performance, but his performance was very good. For me, he was unlucky with his finishing."

As impressed as Pochettino may have been, Soldado may well find himself dropped to the bench when they return to Premier League action on Sunday.

Emmanuel Adebayor is closing in on a first-team return and in-form Harry Kane started from the bench against Partizan in what looked to be a move to keep him fresh for Everton's visit.

It is a match Pochettino's side need to win after showing such poor home form this term and it comes against good friend Roberto Martinez, who the Argentinian has known since moving to Spain 22 years ago.

"For me, he is a very good manager, a great manager, and we have a very good relationship," the former defender said.

"I admire him because when he arrived here to play for Wigan he made his career here and then went on to be a manager here and that is never easy. He has had an unbelievable career and I admire him.

"His football style is very good and I think that we have similarities in our style.

"He was one of the first Spanish managers in the Premier League and he made his mark here in England.

"He's good, Roberto, he gives a good image in England for Spanish people."