first_img Neville was named Valencia’s new head coach until the end of the season on Wednesday, joining his brother Phil in Spain, who will remain on the club’s coaching staff. Pochettino enjoys a good relationship with Neville, who spent time at Tottenham’s training ground last season and recently described the Argentine as his “favourite coach in the Premier League”. Press Association Townsend was banished from the first team last month for squabbling with a fitness coach and, despite returning to the fold, remained on the bench against West Ham and Qarabag, before being left out completely against Chelsea last weekend. “Andros was out of the squad and he asked to play in the under-21s against Middlesbrough. He asked to play,” Pochettino said. “It is a very good thing because the player was out for many weeks. It is a very good attitude to want to play for the under-21s, to keep working hard and keep his level and physical condition. “Has he learned his lesson? Yes. It is not an issue. He is still young he has a big future in football here or at another club. You always need to learn in football.” Tottenham will be without midfielder Ryan Mason at the Hawthorns this weekend. Mason sustained an ankle injury against Chelsea and is expected to be out for around two weeks. Nabil Bentaleb (foot) and Nacer Chadli (ankle) are close to recovery but a return against Monaco in the Europa League next Thursday is more likely. The Spurs boss is an avid follower of Spanish football, after spending eight years playing for Espanyol, and he believes Neville can thrive at his new club. “I sent a text to him to wish him all the best because he is my colleague,” Pochettino said. “He is a brilliant man and I wish him all the best. It’s a difficult job to take Valencia now. “I know very well Valencia and Spanish football but he is capable of managing Valencia. I wish him all the best in a difficult job now. “Always it is difficult to arrive in a new country, new language, new culture. It is all new for him. “For me also it was very difficult at Southampton. It was maybe a very similar moment. But he is capable, he is very clever.” Pochettino took time to instil his own methods at White Hart Lane but his work is starting to bear fruit, with Spurs unbeaten in 13 league games ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Brom. Unity and discipline have been central to the team’s progress and Pochettino praised the attitude of Andros Townsend after the winger made a special request to play for the club’s under-21s against Middlesbrough on Monday. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Gary Neville has taken on a difficult job at Valencia but is backing the former Manchester United defender to be a success in La Liga. last_img read more

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Ike Iroegbu had just returned from a 90-minute workout when he got the call Friday morning. He was relaxing at home, having a bite to eat and watching a replay of the Clippers’ victory Thursday night over the Sacramento Kings. His agent was on the phone.“How fast can you get to the airport?” his agent asked.“About 45 minutes,” Iroegbu answered.Iroegbu’s mother gave him a ride to Sacramento International Airport. Instead of stashing players with other NBA team’s developmental clubs, as in the past, the Clippers could have players like Iroegbu, Jawun Evans, Marshall Plumlee, Tyrone Wallace, C.J. Williams and Jamil Wilson playing in Ontario.In addition to Iroegbu, the Clippers also waived Plumlee and Wallace, but they’re also expected to sign with Ontario. The Clippers also converted the contract of Williams to a two-way deal, which means they expect him to spend time with the NBA team and the G-League club.“Just keep working,” Rivers said of what he expected from the Clippers’ young players throughout the preseason. “They’re either going to be with us or our G-League team. So, they’re safe. It’s awesome (to have the G-League team). I just think it’s awesome.” Wearing a No. 19 jersey that formerly belonged to LaDontae Henton, who was cut earlier in the week, one without a name on the back, Iroegbu scored seven points on 3-for-9 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in 17 minutes in the Clippers’ 111-104 loss to the Lakers.“Everyone was really cool, from Blake (Griffin) to D.J. (DeAndre Jordan), Lou Williams and Pat (Beverley),” Iroegbu said. “They’re really cool guys and I just felt really comfortable. Coach Doc said, ‘Just play hard and go out there and play basketball.’”The Clippers waived Iroegbu on Saturday, but it’s expected that he will sign with their G-League team in Ontario before its season-opening game Nov. 3 against the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Clippers liked Iroegbu because he was a tenacious guard while at Washington State.They’ve dedicated themselves during this past offseason to adding players who don’t mind hitting the floor in search of a loose ball, and they believe Iroegbu is a perfect fit for the organization. He’s another player with a chip on his shoulder. The Clippers wanted the former Washington State guard in Los Angeles as fast as he could get there. They needed an extra body for Friday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. They wanted to sign him and ticket him for Ontario, home of their new developmental league team.Iroegbu’s scheduled flight from Sacramento to Burbank was delayed, so he talked his way onto an earlier-departing flight to LAX. Dee Brown, the Clippers’ director of player programs, met him and prepped him with a few videos on the drive from the airport.Iroegbu’s whirlwind day was only beginning.Once at Staples Center, he got a short set of instructions from Clippers coach Doc Rivers.“I told him, ‘Shoot it every time,’ ” Rivers later told reporters of their pregame introduction. “Make something happen. Don’t worry about plays. Just be aggressive. That’s what he was. It was a tough situation for him, but he actually played pretty well.”center_img G-LEAGUE AFFILIATEThe Clippers finally have a developmental league team of their own this season. Brown will serve as general manger and Casey Hill will coach the team, which will call Citizens Business Bank Arena its home. The squad will be comprised of several players who were with the Clippers in camp. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more