Mauricio Pochettino 'happy' at Tottenham amid Barcelona speculation
GENT, Belgium -- Mauricio Pochettino says he is happy at Tottenham and not interested in becoming Barcelona's coach, despite admitting his current job is "not easy."
Barca coach Luis Enrique is under enormous pressure after his team lost 4-0 at Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.
Pochettino spent over a decade in Barcelona as a player and manager with Barca's city rivals Espanyol and he still owns a home there. Last month, he took the Tottenham squad to the city for the second year running for a week of warm-weather training.
The 44-year-old has transformed Tottenham and he signed a new five-year contract in May, but the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday left them as outsiders for the league title.
Speaking in Belgium ahead of Tottenham's Europa League match against AA Gent, Pochettino, who has previously described Barcelona as his "sporting enemy," insisted he is happy at the club.
"I can't say anything about [managing Barcelona]," Pochettino told a news conference. "I'm at Tottenham. I am very happy, [I have] four more years of my contract, enjoying an exciting project. It's true it's not an easy project, but I'm very happy here."
Tottenham play Gent on the back of the defeat at Liverpool, which left them 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea and without an away win against their top six rivals this season.
Pochettino believes Barca's shock thrashing in Paris helps to explain why his team were so poor at Anfield, and said the result at the Parc des Princes was a "lesson" that his team must be competitive against the Belgian minnows.
"It's important to be focused on the game tomorrow. [Barcelona's defeat] yesterday was a good lesson for all because, if you are not ready to fight at that level, when you compete with a top five or six in the Premier League, Europa League or Champions League, it's a very similar level... the first thing you need to show on the pitch is you are ready to fight and compete. But the question is about being focused tomorrow.
"In football, sometimes that happens and you can't explain why. Look at Barcelona yesterday in the last 16. Sometimes you don't have a good day, a good night, and that happens.
"We feel disappointed because every time you play football you want to show your best, and people expect you to always be at a good level. But we dropped our performance, our energy, our desire maybe. We showed that lack of being competitive like a team, and that surprised us.
"Before we'd been talking a lot about how we'd play that game, how we'd start the game. But sometimes that happens. Maybe you can't change anything at that moment, and it's difficult for the players out on the pitch to do anything."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.