Pochettino confident about Barcelona despite Neymar blow
Neymar spoke of his sadness after his latest injury setback, but Mauricio Pochettino is upbeat about the shape of his squad for the Champions League.
Paris Saint-Germain will focus on helping Neymar recover emotionally from his latest injury setback, said Mauricio Pochettino, who is confident they have the squad to win without him.
Neymar was ruled out for up to four weeks after suffering an adductor injury in PSG's Coupe de France clash with Caen on Wednesday.
He will miss Tuesday's trip to Camp Nou to face his former club Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.
The timeline also puts him in doubt for the return leg at the Parc des Princes on March 10.
Neymar spoke of his immense sadness in an Instagram following news of his injury.
Pochettino: "Neymar is a tough guy and he is very mature"
53.9% - Neymar has only played 103 of Paris' 191 games in all competitions since his first encounter with the club on 13 August 2017 at Guingamp, only 53.9%. Tough. pic.twitter.com/YLc1tuqgTx— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 11, 2021
And asked about the Brazil forward ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Nice, PSG boss Pochettino said: "We have been speaking since the injury happened and, with the tests that he had yesterday, he has made his sadness and pain public.
"We are all going to help him get back as quickly as possible. And also help him recover in terms of his emotional state because it has been a tough blow for him.
"He is a tough guy and he is very mature. We have got to know him here to see what a great person he is, not just an athlete, but an extraordinary person who builds good relationships and is very likeable."
Pochettino brushed off talk of him taking an unnecessary risk by playing Neymar against Caen with Barça on the horizon.
"We are here to manage a squad of players and we make decisions that we think are for the best," explained Pochettino.
"We make decisions together and try to apply that all the time. A player got injured and that can happen. That can happen in the Coupe de France, in training, in the league, in the Champions League.
"It is a shame that he got injured, but these things happen in football.
"We cannot look back. We have key players injured and we have to look for solutions, while also knowing that we have a squad that can still handle that and play well in these fixtures.
"Whether it is Ligue 1 or the Champions League, I have total confidence in the squad, and they are PSG players for a reason. So we are going to try to go into every game to win without any excuses."
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