Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino says he understands why fans booed Kyle Walker on his first appearance for Manchester City against his old team, but insists the Spurs faithful “love him really”.
Walker moved from Spurs to Premier League rivals City in a deal that could reportedly reach up to £50million this month and he featured as Pep Guardiola’s men ran out 3-0 winners in an International Champions Cup game on Saturday.
The right-back was heckled during the match but Pochettino defended Spurs’ supporters after seeing his side outclassed in Nashville.
“I totally understand. Fans showed they are disappointed with the situation but the Tottenham fans love him really,” Pochettino told reporters.
“He spent nine years at the club. It is not personal. It is not a big issue. It is only to show him they were disappointed he left.”
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) July 30, 2017
Goals from John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Brahim Diaz consigned Tottenham, who were beaten 3-2 by Roma on Tuesday, to defeat in the last game of their United States tour.
And Pochettino accepts there is a lot of work to do for Spurs before they are ready for the start of the new Premier League season, with the Argentine hoping to welcome new arrivals.
“Of course, Man City have more senior players than us and they invest more money than us,” Pochettino said. “You can see that we have a lot of young players on the bench.
“It’s true the squads are completely different but we are building the squad. Maybe today they have a little bit of an advantage, they are ahead of us because they have signed and kept the players that they want.
“We are a little bit behind but working hard to sign some players who can help us and bring some energy and make us more competitive.
“It’s true you want to win but Manchester City was better than us, showed better quality. We lost and deserved to lose, and they deserved to win.”
Tottenham – yet to make a signing in the transfer window – will complete pre-season with a game against Serie A champions Juventus at their temporary Wembley home on Saturday. They then travel to Newcastle United on August 13 to get their Premier League campaign under way.
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