PSG players ‘have to deserve to wear the shirt’, says new coach Pochettino

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The Argentine coach hopes to work with “some of the best” players in the world after returning to Parc des Princes.

The new Paris Saint-Germain coach, Mauricio Pochettino, has warned his players that “they have to deserve to wear the shirt.”

Pochettino landed his first head coach job since being fired by Tottenham in November 2019 when PSG handed him a two-year contract on Saturday.

The Argentine, a favorite at the Parc des Princes after two years at the club as a player, was selected to replace Thomas Tuchel after the German tactician’s dismissal in December.

Tuchel led PSG to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles and a Champions League final, but top officials decided a bench change was necessary after the team’s inconsistent start to the 2020-21 campaign.

Pochettino inherits a team that is currently third in the French top flight, one point behind Lyon and Lille, with a clash against Saintt-Etienne at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Wednesday that will mark his first game in charge.

The 48-year-old will likely have to bring out the best of players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria to build on Tuchel’s platform, but he has already made it clear that his team selection will be based on effort and professionalism rather than status.

“In this club it has always been about excellence, the players should deserve to wear the shirt,” Pochettino told the club official website.

“I think they are a fantastic squad and I think we can achieve what this club and the players want because they are competitors and they want to lift trophies.”

The former Tottenham manager added on his return to France: “I think it’s very exciting to be here and to start building this relationship again. And I always followed Paris Saint Germain after playing here.

“I always had a very good relationship with the fans, with the fans. Paris is one of the biggest clubs in the world, and in a club like this, victory is not enough. You have to win a course but play well.

“The players here are some of the best here, they are the main players and they need to love what they do on the field, it’s really important.”

When asked to describe his short-term ambitions at PSG, which has a Champions League knockout tie against Barcelona next month, Pochettino replied: “Our main goal is to make sure everyone goes in for it. the same direction.

“We want to put a mentality, a philosophy and that everyone participates. The idea is that everyone wants to win for the club more than anything.

“We want to be a strong club with a solid structure.”

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