Belfast Telegraph

Spurs' World Cup stars are in fine fettle, claims boss Pochettino

By Jonathan Veal

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is happy with the condition of his World Cup stars ahead of the Premier League opener at Newcastle.

Spurs had nine players involved in the final stages of this summer's tournament in Russia - more than any other club - and they only returned to pre-season training on Monday. Pochettino has revealed that Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris are at differing stages of fitness, but some will feature at St James' Park today.

"I am so happy with the way they came back to training on Monday," the boss said. "I am so proud because they were very focused on trying to arrive in a very good condition.

"Of course the circumstances are completely different, and the profiles of the players are completely different. Some need more time to get fit than others. That's normal. Some players will be fit to start, some on the bench.

"Maybe some players will stay here to try and reach a high level, because we don't want to take risks. That is why it's so important for us to be right in our judgment now and take the best decision."

Kane's preparations for the season have been further hit with the arrival of his second child on Wednesday.

However, Pochettino says the impending birth helped Kane get in better shape early on and he should play a part at Newcastle.

"Harry is focused, the new baby helped him to stay here and not travel," the boss added. "It was quiet and calm waiting for the new baby.

"He was training here a few days before Monday and has an advantage on the rest. He was here because he was waiting for the baby, not on holiday. That is why I said before that every single circumstance is different."

Spurs will not be handing any debuts out after becoming the first team in Premier League history not to make a signing in the summer transfer window. There could still be exits, with Rose, Dembele and Alderweireld all able to leave before the European transfer window shuts on August 31.

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