Soccer

Mauricio Pochettino on PSG predecessor Thomas Tuchel’s words: ‘I come from a culture of education and respect’

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino has responded to Thomas Tuchel’s recent comments about his time with the French giants. The German tactician, currently Chelsea boss, said earlier this week that “they are two completely different clubs with regards to style and organization” before adding that “it is easier to coach (Romelu) Lukaku than Neymar or (Kylian) Mbappe.”

“At PSG, I felt I was the Minister for Sport,” Tuchel told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I had to also manage family members and friends of the stars. At Chelsea, I work much more calmly.”

Quizzed about Tuchel’s comments during Thursday’s press conference ahead of Friday’s Ligue 1 clash with Lille OSC at Parc des Princes, Pochettino remained respectful and insisted on only speaking from what he has experienced in Paris.

“I am someone with a lot of respect for everything,” said the ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss. “I come from a culture of education and respect. I will never try to judge somebody until I know them. Like with clubs. I have known PSG for 20 years, but also for 10 months.

“I will not give my opinion on how my predecessor felt. I can only speak from my experiences. My job is to coach and take technical decisions with my staff. PSG recruited me to coach 33 players and to define a playing philosophy. The pitch is my responsibility.”

With Kylian Mbappe ruled out for LOSC’s visit and Lionel Messi potentially also sidelined, Pochettino must now rely on an out-of-form Neymar which makes it less likely that the Brazilian superstar is a substitute on Friday.

“Any players can be on the bench or on the pitch,” said Pochettino when asked about the possibility. “There are 33 of them who want to play. If they do not play, they are not happy. It is not just at PSG, but everywhere. I cannot give a clearer answer.”

With Messi, Pochettino revealed minor muscular discomfort which means that a decision will be taken on the legendary Argentine’s fitness in the hours before the game.

“Leo trained really well after Marseille,” Pochettino added. “He felt some muscular discomfort earlier. As a precaution, he trained individually. We will see if he can play against Lille.”

PSG were dethroned as Ligue 1 champions by Lille last season as Pochettino replaced Tuchel mid-term but Les Dogues are way down in midtable this campaign and 13 points behind Les Parisiens before kick-off.



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