Pochettino happy with Vertonghen
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has rejected talk of an issue with Jan Vertonghen, insisting the Belgium defender remains happy at White Hart Lane.
The 27-year-old had been one of the first names on the team sheet ever since arriving from Ajax in 2012, yet has found it hard to pin down a regular first-team berth this term.
Vertonghen's place on the bench in Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City reignited rumours that all may not be well between the defender and Pochettino - something both have downplayed in recent weeks. Pochettino attempted to extinguish that speculation once again on Wednesday, saying: "Jan is an important player for Tottenham and for us.
"But a lot of rumours and information and different situations, and for me it's easy because I don't read it. Never.
"I know the players are sometimes affected by comment or rumours and they call me about the rumours but Jan is a very important player for Tottenham and for me."
Pochettino says the players have responded well to that 4-1 loss but is well aware a winning response is needed in tonight's Europa League clash against Asteras Tripolis.
The Greek side arrive in north London as a relatively-unknown quantity but Spurs' coaching staff have done their homework on the current Group C leaders.
"I have a lot of information about Asteras," Pochettino said. "It is a very good team, a lot of Argentine players, seven, and I believe that they have a very good philosophy. They are a very dynamic team, play well, offensive, brave and we expect a very tough game."
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