Poch explains Alderweireld absence

28 February 2018 19:33:57 GMTPlus11

Tottenham Hotspur central defender Toby Alderweireld is still being troubled by the hamstring injury which saw him sidelined for more than three months.

The Belgium international will definitely sit out the FA Cup fifth round replay against Rochdale on Wednesday evening and is a major doubt for the Champions League clash with Juventus next week as well.

It's just to be careful about the player because we want Toby 100 per cent ready to play.

Mauricio Pochettino

However, Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose side are 12122.00 to lift the FA Cup this season, says he will not take any chances with one of his key players, even for major tests like that of taking on Juve.

He told reporters: "He is still recovering. He is still not participating with the group.

"When you tear a muscle, then you are fit, but fit to participate in training. And then, it's to be fit to play and then to compete. It's a different process and sometimes it's longer, depending on the injury.

"Sometimes, the people create an expectation and then we are the bad guys, when we say 'no you cannot play' or we start to build your fitness step by step.

"It's our responsibility sometimes, but it's impossible to explain everything. It's just to be careful about the player because we want Toby 100 per cent ready to play."

Meanwhile, Pochettino has dismissed suggestions that star striker Harry Kane might have to leave the club to further his career.

The England frontman is reported to be of interest to some of Europe's top clubs, but Pochettino is confident that Kane can stay put and fulfil his goals.

He added: "Harry's happy here and of course wants to win titles here like all of us. We are here to develop, to help the club achieve and win titles."

Kane is currently 13.00 to be top goalscorer in the Premier League this season, with Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah 1.04 and Manchester City star Sergio Aguero 2501.00.

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