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.
“I am so happy in the way they come back to training on Monday,” the boss said. “I am really, really, really, really, really happy.
“I am so proud about them because they were very focused on trying to arrive in a very good condition.
“Of course the circumstances are completely different from each other, 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 the game. Some will be fit to be on the bench.
On Saturday we return to @premierleague action.August 9, 2018
“Maybe some players will stay here to try to reach the level, to give more time, for different reasons – because maybe we don’t want to take risks, because they need more preparation, because the background or history of their injuries is different.
“That is why for us it’s so important for us to be right in our judgement now and take the best decision and then to provide the team a very good balance to try to be competitive against Newcastle.
“We’re going to be competitive. I promise you I’m so happy in the way everyone came back, so focused, so happy to join us again.”
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, it’s true that the new baby helped him to stay here and not travel for holidays,” the boss added.
“It was quiet and calm and relaxed and 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 in Vegas, Los Angeles.
Our beautiful addition to the family! Vivienne Jane Kane. 😍 So proud of @KateGoodlandx for having the most amazing water birth with no pain relief at all 💖💖💖 #mygirls #hypnobirthing pic.twitter.com/a6BM4CkFM1— Harry Kane (@HKane) August 8, 2018
“That is why I said before that every single circumstance is different and we need to understand from them. ”
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, though, with Rose, Dembele and Alderweireld all able to leave before the European transfer window shuts at the end of August.
- Press Association