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Pochettino hails inspirational Ferguson

Mauricio Pochettino said it was a “dream come true” to have dinner with Alex Ferguson in the week he secured a new long-term deal at Tottenham.

The highly rated Argentine coach committed himself to White Hart Lane for a further five years until 2021 on Thursday following an impressive Premier League campaign.

Pochettino had been linked to Manchester United as speculation continues to swirl over Louis van Gaal’s future at Old Trafford but he insisted his meeting with the Dutchman’s illustrious predecessor on Tuesday had no ulterior motive.

“For me it was fantastic,” he said. “It was the dream come true because when I was young and started my career as a manger he was my inspiration, one of my references.

“When you can share two hours with people like that… for me he is one of the greatest managers in the history of football

“You can only enjoy that. You want to stop the time but that is impossible.

“Sir Alex Ferguson is a person who we can all learn from because he has a fantastic history in football and life.”

Pochettino will hope to call upon the kind of steely resolve Ferguson made his trademark this weekend, with Tottenham seeking victory over relegated Newcastle United to secure second place ahead of Arsenal.

A dramatic 2-2 draw at Chelsea ended Spurs’ title challenge and they were beaten by Pochettino’s former employers Southampton last time out, making it three games without a win.

It means Arsenal still have a chance of finishing above Tottenham and prolonging a spell of dominance over their north London rivals that dates back to 1995, but Pochettino is determined to close the door this weekend.

“To be second in the league I think is a very important thing for the club,” he said. “It is important to go straight away to the group stage of the Champions League.

“It was a target from the beginning of the season. We need to feel very happy and very proud.

“When you analyse all things that happened during the season from the beginning, to finish the season second is a fantastic achievement for the club.”

He added: “I think that the project and the potential of the club is massive and it’s exciting to be here.”

Fri 13 May, 2016
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