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Pochettino: Vertonghen and Alderweireld substitutions were precautionary

Janby Alderweirtonghen went off with knocks against Stoke, but it doesn’t sound like we should be worried.

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Two of Tottenham Hotspur’s starting three center backs went off with what looked like minor injuries during Sunday’s 4-0 win over Stoke at White Hart Lane. You could immediately cut the panic emanating from Spurs supporters with a knife. We’ve seen what can happen to Spurs when they’re missing just one of their Belgian defenders. Imagine losing both in a stupid blow-out win over Mark Hughes.

Mercifully, Mauricio Pochettino has played down concerns over Janby Alderweirtonghen’s health and fitness, saying in post match comments to the press that both asked to be subbed for precautionary reasons.

"We hope it is not a big issues. Both asked to leave the pitch for caution rather than problems.

"We hope in a few days they can start again to work with the group and we play next Sunday and I hope we have enough time to recover them.”

So, that doesn’t exactly sound great, but let’s also remember that these quotes were given immediately after the match when a full assessment was probably not complete. Both Jan and Toby walked off under their own power with no real signs of limping or anything seriously wrong, but they know their bodies and both figured it was safer to not risk doing serious damage while they’re pounding the Potters like a mass of wet clay. Kevin Wimmer came in for Toby and had a solid, if not spectacular, performance.

On the other hand, Pochettino doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to accurate portrayals of Tottenham injuries this season. It’s wait and see for the Everton match, I suppose.