By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Kyle Walker has given an insight into the different characters of the Tottenham dressing room as they steel themselves for their title charge.
The Spurs full-back revealed there are four main pranksters, including mickey-taking duo Dele Alli and Eric Dier, plus a triumvirate of more sensible players led by skipper Hugo Lloris.
Spurs youthful squad – the youngest in the Premier League – have grown closer during a season that has exceeded all expectations and could end the club’s 55-year wait for a league title.
Walker has painted a picture of the unit that are ready to put more pressure on leaders Leicester ahead of a weekend that Steven Gerrard has described as “monumental” in the title race.
“We’ve got a lot of different characters,” Walker told the Telegraph. “I’m probably one that’s known for jokes, but Dele and Eric are probably pipping me at the minute. Jan’s always there with a bit of banter.
“Then you’ve got the sensible ones: Hugo, Toby [Alderweireld], Michel Vorm, like parents trying to keep us on a leash. We all complement each other well. It’s just a joy to go into work every single day.”
Spurs were given fresh hope in the two-way title fight last weekend when Leicester dropped two points with a 2-2 draw against West Ham and had Jamie Vardy sent off, with their leading scorer absent on Sunday and potentially facing an additional one-match ban.
Mauricio Pochettino’s sode responded with a resounding 4-0 win at Stoke on Monday night to narrow the gap on the leaders to five points with four matches of the campaign remaining.
Walker revealed that the manager’s style, which varies from schoolmaster to paternal figure, is key to coaxing the best from the squad.
“It’s weird,” Walker told the Telegraph of his relationship with Pochettino. “It’s like a friend, but you have so much respect for him because of what he’s done in his football career. The thing I’ve warmed to the most is that you can knock on his door.
“My granddad had a stroke two or three months ago. I knocked on his door and said: ‘I need to go to Sheffield to see my granddad.’ He said, ‘Never mind about the double session. Family’s more important. Go and see your granddad.’ To me, that said everything about the man that he is.”
In other Tottenham news, there has been a twist in the club’s pursuit of new striker.