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Pochettino: Tottenham will treat Payet like Messi

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted there will be no special treatment for West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, having also refused to focus on individuals when facing Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

West Ham will rely heavily on star playmaker Payet in Saturday’s trip to White Hart Lane as they bid to move clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone, with the France international tallying one goal and four assists this season.

But Pochettino, who did not adopt a man-marking tactic to stop Messi during his time in charge of Espanyol in LaLiga, said he is not worried about facing Payet in London.

“It has never been my intention when I started as a manager, facing Messi, to try to do something special or be focused on trying to stop this type of player like Payet,” said Pochettino, whose Tottenham are fifth in the table and the only undefeated team remaining in the Premier League.

“We have played against several top players during the last two and a half years at Tottenham and you can see we never focus on that type of player, like Eden Hazard or David Silva, who can change a game.

“We need to be aware of Payet and focused when we play this type of player but it is not special mark.”

Sat 19 Nov, 2016
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