Tottenham star Harry Winks pays tribute to Mauricio Pochettino just hours before he was sacked as manager

19 Nov

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has spoken of his admiration and gratitude for manager Mauricio Pochettino, amid the wild speculation over the Argentine’s future at the club.

The midfielder joined talkSPORT for an exclusive interview fresh from scoring his first senior goal for England, which he said is the ‘best moment’ of his career to date.

And, having now returned to his club following the international break, he insists it’s business as usual at Spurs despite claims the Pochettino era could soon be coming to an end.

Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure following Spurs’ poor start to the season
AFP or licensors

Widespread reports this week have suggested it’s a matter of when and not if the manager will leave the north London side, with Tottenham 14th in the Premier League after a poor start to the season.

Tottenham chiefs are said to be already considering a number of potential replacements, with RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann reportedly among their targets, and Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti also linked with the role.

Pochettino, meanwhile, has been linked with the Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain jobs amid continued tension with the board over the club’s transfer policy and their lack of recent arrivals.

But Winks insists the squad and manager are paying no attention to the rumours and instead are fully focused on getting their season back on track, starting with a win over London derby rivals West Ham on Saturday.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, the England midfielder said: “The manager is always happy to have everybody back because we can train together as a team again.

“When everybody goes away separately to their countries, it’s difficult to get the same amount of training in and work on the tactical issues we need to work on, so it will be good for the manager to get everybody back in now and build up towards the West Ham game.

Harry Winks scored his first England goal and was named Man-of-the-Match in Sundays’ 4-0 win over Kosovo
Getty – Contributor

“Now I’m back at Tottenham I want to get back on the field with the lads, and prepare for the Premier League.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in as short space of time, as well as the Champions League where we’ve got a great opportunity to get through.

“So it’s going to be tough period over the next couple of months with so many games, but it’s an exciting time.

“It’s time for us to really kick on now and start to get some wins and climb the table.”

Asked for a comment on Pochettino, Winks admitted he owes much of his current success to the coach who brought him into the senior Spurs squad, and said he will forever be in his debt.

“I’ve said many times and I will always say it, I’ve got everything to thank the gaffer for,” the 23-year-old added.

“He gave me the opportunity and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for him.

“Of course I’ve had to work hard to get here, but getting that opportunity in the first place is always difficult and I’m forever thankful to the manager for giving me that opportunity.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s exclusive interview with Harry Winks IN FULL above

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