Mauricio Pochettino agrees with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Referee Kevin Friend was dropped amid fears of a confliction of interest.

Quoted by the Irish Independent, Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino agreed with Arsene Wenger's stance that referee Kevin Friend should not have been dropped for the massive clash at Stoke City.

Friend was appointed for Spurs' visit to Stoke on Monday in a game which Tottenham could need to win in order to keep alive their hopes of catching Leicester City - who might be 10 points clear - in the race for the Premier League title.

That being said, he has since been replaced by referee Neil Swarbrick after Lilywhites supporters protested on social media, alleging that the 44-year-old was a Leicester fan.

The Gunners boss said he was "completely against" the decision to replace Friend, via The Mail, and Pochettino has added to those sentiments, insisting that the Premier League must trust its referees.

"We never complain and I want to say we trust in all the referees but I think we need to trust," Pochettino said to the media, via the Irish Independent. "In some point I agree with Arsene. It is important to keep the integrity of the referee and always back the referee.

"They are human and can make mistakes like us but it is important next time to behave naturally and to show the referee the trust and respect.

"Then whatever happens in the game, on the pitch we are human and can make mistake and not because something is going on behind."


Spurs sit seven points behind the Foxes with just five games to go as their hopes of a first top-flight league title since 1961 look improbable, but certainly not impossible.


Leicester, though, could pile the pressure on their trip to the Britannia by beating West Ham United at home on Sunday, moving 10 points clear in the process.

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