Mauricio Pochettino reveals Tottenham selection plans ahead of Newcastle season opener

Newcastle United's opponents on the opening day of the Premier League season may be without some of their biggest names.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 3:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 3:23 pm
The Tottenham boss has opened up on his selection plans

Tottenham Hotspur, who make the trip to St James's Park on August 11, have been forced to play much of pre-season without some of their star performers.

The likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane are among nine players who have been given an extended period of rest by the club following the World Cup.

And manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that he will not take risks with the international stars ahead of the season opener at St James's Park.

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All nine players are due back in training on Monday following their post-tournament break and the Argentine is keen to assess them individually before making a verdict on whether they will feature on Tyneside.

READ: Jamaal Lascelles' response to speculation about his Newcastle futureBut Pochettino's insistence that no risks will be taken could suggest that some of Spurs' bigger names will be rested.

"First we need to assess them and see what happens," he admitted.

"Maybe some players looked after themselves and they've been training, maybe others rested.

"We are not going to take risks. If some players are not ready to play, they are not going to be involved at the weekend. That is so, so clear. If someone is not ready, he's not going to be involved because we are not going to take risks.

DIARY: Miles Starforth - what Fabian Schar is NOT looking forward to at Newcastle"Of course, it's not our fault. It's the reality that happens and pushes us to take some decisions that doesn't help the team from the beginning [of the season] but we need to help some players because after the World Cup, they need a minimum 20 days to rest and stop thinking about football."

In the absence of the experienced campaigners, Tottenham's youngsters have shone through and helped the side to a 1-0 win over AC Milan earlier this week.

Such performances could see some of those youngsters handed an opportunity in the early weeks of the new season - with Luke Amos one heavily-mentioned contender for a place in the squad.

And Pochettino confirmed that he would not be afraid to hand opportunities to some of his younger players at St James's Park.

MORE: Is Dwight Gayle key to Newcastle's pursuit of Salomon Rondon?Asked specifically about Amos, the Spurs boss said: "After four years, in my fifth year, you think I'm going to be scared to play him?

"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."