Ex-Tottenham chairman backs new boss to get club Champions League spot

Lord Sugar believes Mauricio Pochettino can get Tottenham Hotspur into the Premier League's top four this season, but only if he asserts his authority over the squad from day one.

Former Tottenham Hotspur chairman Lord Sugar has backed new manager Mauricio Pochettino to guide the club to a coveted Champions League spot this season, after his successful 18 month-spell at Southampton.

Following the £85 million sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid last summer, Tottenham experienced a somewhat underwhelming campaign, with Andre Villas-Boas receiving the sack in December, as their seven new signings, totalling a combined £105 million, failed to have the desired impact.

With his successor Tim Sherwood also departing after last season’s sixth-place finish, Sugar believes that Pochettino is the right man to get the best out of the current side after his success with the Saints, provided he asserts his influence over the squad from the get-go.

‘A fourth-place finish is definitely obtainable – no question of it. We’ve got to go for it,’ he told Sky Sports News.

‘I followed his progress at Southampton and he clearly made them work very, very well. Rumour has it that he as a bit of a task master and makes the players really train well.

‘The first thing is that you have to let people know who the organ grinder is and you’ve got to assert your authority.

‘There are some characters and personalities in the team, as there are in other teams, who feel they’re superior and think they have a divine right to play or not play, or be in certain positons and disagree with the manager.

‘If he finds that early, he should get rid of them. He should make it very clear and get rid of them.’

Spurs have made just three signings for a combined £7.5 million so far, with Sporting Lisbon’s Eric Dier joining Swansea duo Michel Vorm and Ben Davies at White Hart Lane, as Pochettino looks to put his faith in the likes of Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado getting over their disappointing debut seasons.

However, with the Argentine also hinting that the club’s transfer business is far from finished, it would remain a shock were more additions not made before the end of the window, with Morgan Schneiderlin still said to be at the top of the shortlist.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch