West Ham Clash: Pochettino banks on dinner effect

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino is hoping that his £10k special dinner with the squad will have a multiply effect on Saturday when the squad file out against West Ham.

The Spurs boss treated 50 members of his squad and staff to posh West End restaurant The Beast on Wednesday night with each member of the squad at liberty to choose what he wants. The special outing according to Pochettino was to take their minds off the London derby and put them in a more relaxed mood ahead of the clash.

Pochettino also paid for £160-a-bottle Argentine wine at the exclusive eatery – ensuring his players were relaxed ahead of the visit to a ground where their title hopes were incidentally dashed last season.

“We had a dinner in a restaurant in London with all the staff and players that I invited, of course. I paid the bill at the end. It is tactics to take all the staff, players and chairman to a restaurant.

It is so important, just as it is important to work on the pitch,” he enthused

Pochettino is no stranger to team bonding exercises and once even walked over hot coals during his time in charge of Southampton.

Pochettino added: “We always try to find the way to stay together out of the training ground because it is so different; all that happens is so different.

“But it is so difficult because here in England, it’s difficult to find a day or night altogether.

“It’s such a busy schedule that we have, we play every two to three days and then all are away for international break.

Striker Fernando Llorente made his first start for the club 24 hours earlier in the 1-0 EFL Cup win over Barnsley

The Spaniard struggled to impose himself after missing a golden early chance to break his duck.

Pochettino has however urged fans to give him time to settle, adding: “It’s true that Fernando arrived here without pre-season because of a problem in his arm.

“Now he is doing very well. He’s so humble and has won the World Cup, but he needs time to learn the dynamic of the team.”



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