By Joe Nelson
Adam Lallana has revealed that he held talks with Mauricio Pochettino this week ahead of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham.
The England international also planned to meet with his former boss in his White Hart Lane office in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s showdown.
Lallana, 28, has explained that he still has a strong bond with the Argentine manager and the pair are in regular contract.
The England international, who has made an impressive start to the 2016-17 campaign, says that he has a special connection with the manager and that he considers him as a close friend.
The Mail report that Lallana spoke to Pochettino this week in the build-up to Saturday’s match, as they always do, although the encounter itself was off limits. The attacking midfielder was also set to sit down with his mentor in the manager’s White Hart Lane office in the aftermath of the game.
“There aren’t too many managers who you would have a friendship with after going your separate ways but I do with him,” Lallana told the Mail. “Last year, of course I was desperate for Tottenham to win the league but it was for him, not because I’m a Tottenham fan. I’m his friend.”
Lallana, who held the responsibility of captain at Southampton at just 24 reveals how the Spurs boss managed to take the pressure off his shoulders when he was in charge at St Mary’s.
“One day Pochettino sits me down. His English wasn’t very good but I was in his office and he said to me, “What’s happening?” He knew something wasn’t right. I used to speak to the chairman (Nicola Cortese) after most games. If we weren’t playing well, he would give his opinion,” Lallana told the Mail.
“As soon as I mentioned that to him he was like, “This . . . This . . . This needs to stop! You can’t feel the weight of speaking to the chairman if results aren’t going well! This is my job! You are my player! I want you to be free!” Straightaway, I felt heaps better and thought, “What a manager he must be!”.”
The midfielder has already scored and assisted this season, as the Reds recorded a 4-3 win at The Emirates on the opening day of the season, in a game where he shone along new signing Saido Mane.
It took just 63 minutes for him to register his first assist of the season in that game, where it took 429 minutes of action to do the same last season.
The Englishman has ten goals for Liverpool since joining in 2014 and had hit 48 in 235 appearances for Southampton before his move to Merseyside.
For a man who cost £25m, Lallana admits he probably should score more goals, but admits he is willing to sacrifice his own glory for the sake of the team as he matures.
Despite the topsy-turvy start to the season that Liverpool have endured, Lallana is confident that Jurgen Klopp is the man to lead them to trophies.
“I just believe we are going to succeed,’ he says. ‘OK, we lost two finals last season. I was talking to someone the other day about the Europa League final (which Liverpool lost 3-1 to Sevilla). My God! If only we had won that!
“It hurts me now even more than it did on the night and I was absolutely heartbroken then. It just would have been massive. If we do what he wants us to do and we can visualise how he wants us to play then we will succeed. He’ll get it out of us.”
In more Liverpool news, This Reds man wants a transfer by Wednesday.