May 24, 2019 / 8:02 AM / 25 days ago

Soccer: Pochettino motivated to stay and improve Spurs

(Reuters) - Mauricio Pochettino is motivated to stay at Tottenham Hotspur so he can transform the London side into one of the best teams in the world, the manager said days after suggesting he could leave in the close season.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - May 12, 2019 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino applauds their fans after the match REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo

The Argentine had hinted this month that the Champions League final against Liverpool could be his last at Spurs if the club, who did not sign a single player in successive transfer windows, was not ambitious enough to shake off their underdog tag.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, but of course I am so motivated to stay... and provide Tottenham with what they deserve,” Pochettino told talkSPORT.

“Today Tottenham is, for me, the best club in the world when we talk about facilities. This training ground and the new stadium, which is the best in the world, there is no better club.

“It’s in London, there’s no better city. It’s England, it’s the Premier League — the toughest and most exciting league. We need to make that step and... continue in this process and we can put Tottenham with the best teams in the world.”

Pochettino is currently focused on the all-English Champions League final on June 1 and he is optimistic that striker Harry Kane, who sustained an ankle ligament injury last month in the quarter-finals, will be fit to play in Madrid.

“(Kane) is training and has entered the final stage of his recovery,” the Argentine told reporters in Spain on Thursday.

“We’re hoping he’ll be able to give us a hand, either from the start, from the bench, or if not, then by giving us moral support in the dressing room. But we’re optimistic he’ll be able to help us on the pitch.”

Pochettino said his team had defied expectations by reaching the final, which he expects to be an emotionally charged affair.

“Everyone’s expecting a tactical battle, but I think the emotional side will be decisive — that will dictate how the game develops,” he added.

“(Liverpool) have invested in their squad to be able to compete for the Champions League but we are there too and on our own merit. Nobody expected Tottenham to be in the final... We have the chance to make history.

“You don’t play finals, you win them and we’re preparing to win it.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings/Amlan Chakraborty

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