Mauricio Pochettino insists he will have no concerns about thrusting Tottenham’s young stars into their Premier League opener against Newcastle United this month.
Spurs’ tour of the United States has seen a number of fringe players and prospects given an opportunity as injuries and post-World Cup breaks have kept first-team stars out.
But Pochettino is delighted with how Tottenham have fared in the absence of stars like Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane, with a trip to St James’ Park now just 10 days away.
“My feeling now is, on one side, disappointed that some players got injured and I’m sad about that,” he said after a 1-0 win over AC Milan. “But of course I’m happy for many young players who stepped up and behaved very well on and off the pitch.
“The quality of time that we spent together, training and competing with big sides like Roma, Barcelona and Milan, and the way they behaved made us very happy.
“They showed they have the potential to one day be consistent in the first team. I want to congratulate all the academy coaches because they’ve been working for a long time to produce these players for the first team.”
Asked specifically whether he would have any issue with starting 21-year-old Luke Amos, given Spurs’ problems in central midfield, Pochettino replied: “After four years, in my fifth year, you think I’m going to be scared to play him?
Another productive evening. #SpursInUSA #ICC2018 pic.twitter.com/YXNiHz0NEk
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 1, 2018
“Is he ready? That’s different. For the young players that maybe still don’t have experience in high competition, the compensation is about desire and energy.
“Players like Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, when they were young, showed desire and energy like the young players on the tour. After four years, you know that we’re people who, if we believe in a young player, don’t care about experience or not.
“Football is about energy, about desire, about respect for yourself and your team-mates, being professional. Of course, Luke Amos is a good example. He played three games of 90 minutes.”
USA international Cameron Carter-Vickers has been another player to excel in pre-season and he has enjoyed the experience.
“The atmosphere was brilliant. The Tottenham fans made a lot of noise and it definitely helped us,” he said. “I feel like I have done well and enjoyed it.
“I have had two lots of 90 minutes against Roma and Barcelona, who are two top teams, so it has been a good experience for me.”
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