Erik Lamela set for Tottenham return after declaring himself fit for action

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Erik Lamela set for Tottenham return after declaring himself fit for action

Lamela, who became a father for the first time on Saturday, has been sidelined with problems in both hips since last playing in the League Cup defeat to Liverpool in October past year.

While Pochettino is likely to ease Lamela back in slowly over the Christmas period, Tottenham have missed the 25-year-old's precision in the final third and willingness to harry opponents.

Asked if Lamela had been anxious that he might never play again after so long out, Pochettino said: "I never said he was anxious, only he was waiting to feel again that emotion for him to step up and say: 'Now I believe I can cope with the pressure to play and I am sure I am going to give my best'".

"We know what the decision he makes is the best for the team and it's important that we stick by that".

"Yes, Saturday his girlfriend had a baby".

Asked whether Lamela's return would boost a Tottenham side on a run of one win from its past four attempts in the Premier League, Pochettino replied: "After one year we need to stay calm with him". He's so important for the team because he's one player more with different qualities to help the team in different situations during the game - but we can not expect too much now, only to be happy. "Of course, I'd love to be involved in the shortlists again, who wouldn't? We hope that he will be important for us in the future".

"He understands perfectly that we are caring for him", said Pochettino, who has frequently played down the notion of a rift with Rose over the past week.

'After a year it's hard for a player to be fit.

"It's never easy and the expectations need to be low".

Jamie Redknapp has warned Tottenham Hotspur that selling Danny Rose to Manchester United could trigger a mass exodus at the north London club. You need to provide them the time to be fit. We trusted in our medical staff and him that he's a very competitive player, always focused on his recovery. But whereas Spurs were at this point seven points behind the leaders Chelsea before finishing as runners-up, the emergence of Manchester City as title favourites has made their task of finishing one place higher this season even more hard.

"It is true that the gap now after Sunday is a great gap between Manchester City and the rest of the contenders", Pochettino told Sky Sports at his pre-match conference yesterday. We will see what happens.

"If we don't win against Leicester, it is hard to be a contender".

"He wants to help you improve and push you on".

"I think he played in Dortmund and now he needs to build up. It is nothing to complain about, only the reality and circumstances are different to last season".

"That's for the board to decide what they're doing".

"But that is not an excuse, the team is doing well and only disappointed because we dropped two points when we should have taken all three". The gap is massive.

"Like I told you one week ago I think you can not guess what is going to happen in the future".

"We have the same points as last season in the Premier League, and we were fifth or fourth, but we were out of the Champions League - and in this season we finished first [in the Champions League group] against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel, and we have the same points [in the league]", he said.

Arsenal favourite Perry Groves has wasted no time in mocking Tottenham after the Gunners leapfrogged their arch rivals in the Premier League table.

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