Pochettino: ‘Mbappé had a good game’

Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with his players after they beat Stade Brestois 29 3-0 to give him his first win as coach, singling Kylian Mbappé out for praise – but without making any promises.

Former PSG centre-back and longtime Tottenham Hotspur coach Pochettino replaced Thomas Tuchel in the Parc des Princes dugout at the start of January; his first game in charge a 1-1 draw at struggling AS Saint-Étienne.

The champions looked more like their usual selves on Saturday, though, Moise Kean, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia on target in a 3-0 triumph which moved the capital club to within a single point of league leaders Olympique Lyonnais.

Mbappé may not have been able to add to his league-leading 12 goals this season, but he laid on the assist for Icardi, and Pochettino was pleased with the French World Cup winner.

“Mbappe has done good things,” he said. “He had chances and it’s a shame he didn’t score. But he had a good game.

“You have to go little by little. Mauro has just returned from injury, he resumed with the group a few days ago. It is very good for his confidence that he scores, as it is for Sarabia. I expect all players to give me problems when it comes to making the team.”

One attacker sure to start when back to full fitness is Neymar. The Brazilian has been missing since injuring his ankle in defeat Olympique de Marseille in December.

PSG have the chance for revenge in the Trophée des Champions on Wednesday, although whether the Brazilian is ready by then remains to be seen.

“We don’t know yet,” Pochettino said. “There’s a follow-up that’s done with injured players. We can analyse this in the coming days and find out who’ll be available.”

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