Mauricio Pochettino has delivered a positive fitness update ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's mouth-watering duel against Manchester City this weekend. Spurs welcome the current league leaders to White Hart Lane on Sunday (2 October), hoping to extend their run of consecutive wins in all competitions to five and spoil Pep Guardiola's 100% Premier League record in the process.
Tottenham made the long trip east to Moscow in midweek and achieved a 1-0 victory – their first in the Champions League since 2011 – against CSKA without the injured quintet of Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko. All but one of those players was said to be nearing a return to full fitness and Pochettino will make a final decision on their availability for City on Saturday.
"I am very positive about the players that have had injuries," he was quoted as saying by the official club website following a press conference. "I need to assess them tomorrow but I am very positive on a few of them.
"We need to assess them – today, all are maybe at the same level. We are very positive on them but we have one training session more tomorrow and then I will take a decision. Only Harry is a little bit behind."
Specifically addressing Kane's recovery from damaged ankle ligaments suffered against Sunderland, Pochettino added: "He is very positive, the scan was very positive last Monday and the expectation is that he can be available sooner than we expected."
Pochettino also spoke on the conditioning of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou. The French U21 international finally joined Tottenham on deadline day in a £9m ($11.6m) deal after a notably protracted summer transfer saga, yet has been limited to just three substitute appearances to date against Gillingham, Middlesbrough and CSKA Moscow.
"He's not 100% at the level that we want him," the manager explained. "He is very young and we need to work a lot for him to arrive at his best level but it's true that, for the way that we want to use him now, he's a perfect forward to be on the bench and make an impact like he did against CSKA."
Like a whole host of other Premier League managers including Arsene Wenger, Eddie Howe, Alan Pardew and Sean Dyche, Pochettino was also asked whether or not he would be interesting in taking charge of England. The FA are beginning their second managerial search in just two months after Sam Allardyce left his role in the aftermath of an undercover sting from The Daily Telegraph. He had been in charge for only 67 days.
"Yes, why not? In the 'future future', Pochettino said. "Not now, it's impossible. I signed a new contract here. It's not my moment. Not only is it not the moment here, but the same is true of Argentina, too."