No Tottenham players asking for transfer this month - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes all the players who were in his squad against Fulham are committed to the club, stating none have told him they want to leave this month.
Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose were all expected to depart this summer, and they could still move abroad. But all three were included in the 18-man group for Saturday's 3-1 home win over Slavisa Jokanovic's Cottagers at Wembley, and only Rose did not get onto the pitch.
"Players that are not happy, from my point of view, everyone can leave," said Pochettino. "Then it's different if they can negotiate with Daniel [Levy] and be agreed.
"For me, I want players who are fully committed with the team and want to fight for the team. The players that are here are all committed. Not one told me today that they wanted to find a solution [to leave].
"If I am here, in my position like a manager, it's because the club trusts in my decision, not because I am so handsome.
"I understand every single situation. I understand agents, I understand everything, that football becomes a business, a big business too, and [the clubs must] protect their asset.
"There's a lot of things that I can say, but I promise you I'm not going to waste time talking about individual situations.
"It's not going to change. You're not going to put pressure on me, or put pressure on my decision. Nobody is going to blackmail me. The club is not going to put pressure on me. I want to enjoy football, I promise you."
Tottenham led 1-0 at half-time against Fulham after Lucas Moura's opener but the visitors equalised through Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Spurs needed strikes from Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane to maintain their winning start to the season.
"I am so happy with the victory and so happy because the performance was good and we fully dominated the game and we deserved the victory," said Pochettino. "I want to give the full credit to the players.
"But of course we need to improve. We want to challenge the big teams. I think it's a situation that we need to improve. We need to push to improve in different areas, be more clinical in front of goal.
"Playing so well after 20 or 30 minutes, dominating the game and positional game, we created a lot of chances and a lot of situations where we must or should be more aggressive and more clinical in front of goal, in these situations in the last 15 minutes of the half. Then we cannot afford to start so sloppy in the second half.
"When you have three centre-backs, two wing-backs and I think one more defensive holding midfielder in front, to concede the chances we conceded, we need to review everything and analyse and take the best decision.
"But it's good to start like this. I am a little bit disappointed but I am so happy with all the players. Mousa [Dembele] and of course Erik [Lamela], they helped the team [off the bench] and increased the tempo.
"That is what we want from the players that are outside, being focused when the manager or team needs them to be available to do."
Trippier, who was used as a wing-back, scored another free-kick after also doing so for England against Croatia in the World Cup semifinals, but Pochettino feels he too can perform better.
"I think the team worked very hard to find that space that Kieran can be bright in," said the manager. "That position when he arrives in the side, a higher position, he has a very good quality in the cross.
"But it's true that he had a lot of possibility to connect with offensive players but wasn't. I think I am happy because it was a great goal, but he still needs to improve."