By Daniel Sandford
6th December 2018,
Tottenham managerMauricio Pochettinohas questioned England’s decision to include Kieran Trippier in their third-place play-off match at the World Cup, believing that is behind the full-back’s ongoing injury struggles.
Trippier, the right-back, famously put his country ahead with a free-kick in their semi-final defeat to Croatia, but also limped off in the same game.
Questions have been raised about Trippier’s fitness since that night in Russia, but on Wednesday, he made his return forTottenham Hotspurafter missing their previous three matches.
It was a groin injury that kept Trippier out, and unfortunately for the 28-year-old, the injury flared up again against Southampton; after a sustained period of treatment, he was forced to leave the field in the 87th minute.
“To play after three days the game against Belgium affected him a little bit and now he is suffering that situation,” Pochettino said after the match, questioning Gareth Southgate’s decision to select Trippier for the third-place play-off.
Pochettino also believes the state of the Wembley pitch has not helped Trippier.
He added: “The situation today, the pitch is not in a very good in that area, and the groin suffers more when the pitch is different.
“We need to care a lot for him, protect that problem. But it will be a long period for him suffering this type of problem.
“That is an area that is difficult to sort out, the groin, but I don’t believe that will be a big thing.
“He need to accept that situation and live sometimes with some pain and play.”