Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is not focused on what is happening at Manchester United ahead of their Premier League showdown at Wembley on Sunday. The clash comes when Pochettino is widely reported to be United’s first choice to take over from caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford in the summer.
And the Argentine, who has said he would like to stay at Spurs for the next 20 years, was not willing to give an answer to why United have improved so dramatically since his friend Jose Mourinho’s sacking, with Solskjaer winning his first five games in charge. “I think from the distance it’s so difficult,” he said. “Of course I cannot be unfair with both managers. After Mourinho the reality is that they’ve won five games in a row.”
He added: “Always you know that when a new person arrives, or manager, it’s like refreshing the atmosphere at the club, and for many players that maybe didn’t play with another manager, it’s an option to play more. It’s a new voice that motivates you. But of course I’m not going to judge. It’s so unfair to judge Ole because he’s won five games or lost five games.”
Pochettino revealed it would be unfair to compare both managers: “It’s not fair to judge in both ways and it’s not fair to judge Mourinho’s job. Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world. For different reasons that I don’t know, cannot perceive, his relationship stopped with the club. Of course for me only I am focused on trying to win the game on Sunday. Because we know that we need the three points to be in that race for the Premier League, to be in the top four, for the end of the season to be there. I have huge respect for Mourinho and of course for Solksjaer. I cannot talk about what happened and what is happening.”
United have been in Dubai this week on a warm-weather training camp, while Spurs were involved in midweek Carabao Cup action, beating Chelsea by a lone goal. Pochettino, though, does not think that will have an effect and says the reverse fixture, which Spurs won 3-0, will have even less bearing.