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Mauricio Pochettino 'postive and optimistic' about Danny Rose recovery

LONDON -- Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says Danny Rose's knee injury is "not a big issue" but refused to put a timeframe on the defender's recovery.

Pochettino was also optimistic about Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela, although all three players will definitely miss Saturday's Premier League match at Liverpool.

Rose was replaced with a knee injury in the first-half of Tottenham's 0-0 draw at Sunderland last week and saw a specialist on Monday to determine the extent of the damage, after a club scan was inconclusive.

"He's very positive and we're very positive -- he's happy," Pochettino told a news conference. "I was talking with him and all the players before the press conference, and we're happy after he saw the specialist. It's not a big issue, it's a small problem. We'll see. We hope he'll be available again as soon as possible."

Vertonghen has been missing since suffering ankle ligament damage in the 4-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Jan. 14 but Pochettino hopes he will return to full training next week.

"Maybe next week he'll be available to start to work with the team. We're very positive and optimistic, like with Danny Rose," he said.

Lamela, meanwhile, has not featured since October due to a persistent hip problem but Pochettino provided a similar update on the Argentina international, who has spent time in Buenos Aires -- on compassionate leave -- and in Rome since he last played for the club.

"We're positive and optimistic too. I cannot give you a date that maybe he starts to work [with the squad]," added Pochettino, who hopes to have right-back Kieran Trippier available at Anfield.

Spurs can move seven points clear of struggling Liverpool with a win on Merseyside but Pochettino said he was looking up the table at leaders Chelsea rather than down.

"I'm thinking about the top of the table," he said. "That [the gap to Liverpool] is not the problem today. The important thing is to win as our objective is reduce the gap to Chelsea, for that we need to be ready to fight. It will be a very difficult game. They're not in a good run but have very good players, one of the best squads in England and Europe. They will be motivated as this is always a big match."

Liverpool have taken three points from their last five league games, all but ending their hopes of a maiden Premier League title, but of the top six clubs they have dropped the fewest points against the other five.

Pochettino can empathise with Liverpool after Spurs won once in 10 games in October and November, and is aware that Saturday's match will be "different."

He said: "We have same problem in November, when we play for the Champions League, after [the 2-0 win against] Manchester City. Every club can have ups and downs, they have a good team and players and they will be motivated like us, ready to fight because as it's a different game when you play Liverpool versus Tottenham. We need to be ready to fight."