By Wayne Veysey

11th Apr, 2017 | 10:05pm

Pochettino makes big admission about struggles with Tottenham chief Levy

By Alex Stevens

Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy deserves “a lot of credit” for helping turn the team into title contenders.

But the Spurs manager has also spoken for the first time of his struggles with the notorious control freak Levy when he was appointed at White Hart Lane in the summer of 2014.

He made the big admission that the pair did not initially hit it off following the Argentine’s arrival from Southampton, although that has subsequently changed.

Levy has been the chairman of Tottenham since 2001 and is renowned for his hardline approach on transfers, contract negotiations and manager appointments.

Pochettino’s influence has been regularly cited as a key driving force behind Tottenham’s rise, given how he has assembled a vibrant and exciting young side on a shoestring budget.

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But the 45-year-old Argentine is adamant the role of Spurs chairman Levy’s should not be understated in the club’s upwardly mobile development.

“We had a difficult relationship at the start but we built a strong one,” Pochettino said of Levy, as quoted by ESPN FC. “He deserves a lot of credit. Tottenham are growing up and if I am doing well, it is because he believed in me and brought me here.”

The Argentine coach guided Spurs to fifth in his first season in charge before leading the club back into the Champions League courtesy of a third-place finish last term.

Tottenham are poised to go at least one better this season after consolidating their place in second following a six-match winning sequence, although they are seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

Spurs remain in the running for silverware this season, with an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon, and are also in rude health off the pitch.

The north Londoners are due to move into their new stadium, which is set to be the biggest club ground in the capital, during the 2018/19 season.

In other Tottenham news, the club have terminated the contract of one of their defenders.

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