Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Kieran Trippier will have to manage the groin problem that he picked up during the World Cup “for a long period”, after it forced him off at the end of Spurs’ 3-1 win over Southampton tonight.
Trippier was making his first performance after almost a month out with a groin problem, his last appearance coming back on 10 November. But when the problem flared up again, Pochettino said that he still sometimes feels discomfort from the injury picked up in Russia, and that Spurs need to “care a lot for” Trippier to keep him on the pitch.
Trippier had to limp off during England’s World Cup semi-final defeat at the Luzhniki on 11 July, which he then exacerbated in the third place play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg. Pochettino said that problem has not gone away.
“It's the same problem, the same problem that started in the World Cup. If you remember the semi-final against Croatia, when he left the pitch. Then I think to play after three days against Belgium, I think maybe it affected a little bit. Now he's suffering in that situation.”
Pochettino spoke as if this was a long-standing issue that would have to be managed, rather than cured. It did not help that this game took place on a wet, cut up pitch that required more effort to get around. “In situations like today when the pitch is not in a good condition, this area, the groin, suffers more when the pitch is different. It's a thing that we need to care a lot for him, protect him, he needs to work a lot to protect and sort that problem. It will be a long period for him suffering this type of problem.”
Ultimately Pochettino said it was not a huge problem, and that he had his own experience of it that gave him confidence Trippier could overcome it. “When I was in Argentina as a 19-year-old I suffered and it is an area that is difficult to sort out. But I don't believe it's a big thing. It's only he needs to start to accept that situation and live with sometimes some pain and play.”