Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham role hasn't changed despite new title
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino says his role at Tottenham remains the same, despite a change in his job title from head coach to manager.
Spurs confirmed on Thursday that Pochettino had signed a new five-year deal "as manager," having previously referred to the Argentine as "head coach."
Last season, Pochettino was at pains to point out that he was not the manager, describing it as a "very different" position to head coach but, speaking at a news conference on Friday, he said he had effectively been performing the role since joining the club.
"Last season I was head coach, now I'm manager," he said. "The title, the club nominates but in the end it's the same job. When I was head coach I was involved in all aspects of the club, and now it's still the same, only that they want to nominate me manager. I'm happy but it doesn't change my positions in the club.
"I think we are agreed that it would be good, for myself, for the club, for all. It's true that 'manager' is a word that means different things than head coach. Maybe I was always manager, from the first day I arrived here, and maybe it describes my job better.
"I think you know the head coach only manages the team, and only you are the coach. But when you are the head coach to care for different things, not only the team. I think from the first day my feeling was always, I always felt I was manager. Now we've changed the word but my work continues to be the same."
Since Pochettino's appointment in summer 2014, Spurs have ditched former director of football Franco Baldini and appointed head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, who arrived from Southampton in November 2014.
Mitchell and Pochettino are part of the club's five-man transfer committee, which also includes Daniel Levy, former manager David Pleat and chief scout Ian Broomfield.
Asked if he would have more control over transfers following his new contract, Pochettino said: "No, we continue the same. We share the decisions, that's why we have different departments and always at the end we have Daniel Levy to decide the things that will happen here. I feel and I think the club feel that I was manager from the first day, not only the head coach."
Pochettino has previously hinted that Spurs will struggle to spend big while the club builds its new £400 million stadium, while chairman Daniel Levy warned of "challenge" and "battles on and off the pitch" in his end-of-season message to supporters.
However, Pochettino insisted he did not ask for assurances over transfer spending before signing the contract and says there are ways to achieve success without breaking the bank.
"We've shown that we're ambitious. It's a different way that you can show ambition and then it's a different way you can take to get success. I think in the last two seasons we show our ambition and it's not only about money. It's true that to build a new stadium you need money but to create a good team and fight for titles and trophies, it's not only about money."
Spurs need a point on the final day of the season at Newcastle on Sunday to confirm second place and a first finish above rivals Arsenal since the 1994-95 season.
Pochettino reiterated that he does not care about finishing above the Gunners and insisted that Spurs were focused on themselves.
"Our aims, our challenge is to stay as high as possible in the table. I don't care what happened with different teams. It's impossible to be first -- we need to try to be second. I don't care which is the club that fights with us," he added.
"In football, the supporters and their feelings are very important but we are professional. To move on, we need to sometimes the emotions to put out, to be clever, we need to fight first to improve ourselves and be strong in our ideas.
"I can understand it -- for our supporters it's special to be above Arsenal but I want to be second not because we'll be above our enemy, our opponent, but because we are ambitious. Maybe one day Arsenal finish eighth, we finish seventh -- yes, we're above but it's not a success for us. It's very important to look at ourselves and enjoy the position that we are we are in but we don't care about our opponents."
Spurs have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to St. James' Park, with Nabil Bentaleb still sidelined and Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele serving suspensions.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.