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Ex-Southampton striker Lambert: I tried to convince Pochettino to change preseason. He broke me!

Retired England striker Rickie Lambert has spoken of the killer preseasons of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino worked with Lambert at Southampton.

“It wasn't the [training on] Fridays that was a shock, it was the Mondays when I'd played 90 minutes [at the weekend]," Lambert told BBC Radio Solent.

“We would come in and to everyone else it was just a three-quarter kind of pace, like a jog to three-quarter pace, we used to do 12 horseshoes.

“But to me it was three-quarters and above, I was like 'what on earth is going in here' I just could not cope."

Shocked by the intensity at which Pochettino had his players working after a matchday, Lambert and former Saints defender Jos Hooiveld looked to persuade their manager to change his ways.

“I thought, it was me and Jos Hooiveld who actually had the bottle to go into his [Pochettino's] room and pull him to one side, very respectfully.

“I said 'Mauricio listen, I understand what you're trying to do but I just think you're pushing us too much on a Monday and you need to calm it down, we're not used to it so maybe build it up a bit later.'

“Mauricio was dead polite he said 'yes, that's fine I understand' – we shook hands, I went out and we went back to the lads made up thinking 'yep, just done it for you boys, next Monday gonna be sorted.

“So, played the game [the next weekend], 90 minutes again, come in Monday, not only did we do 12, we did 24 runs – 24 runs and I just knew, I was running around laughing and almost crying and I knew what he was doing, he was breaking me and he did, he broke me."

About the author

Paul Vegas

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