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Guardiola referred to Tottenham as the "Harry Kane team" when assessing City's title rivals in the wake of his side's victory over Chelsea before the recent global break.

But Pochettino slammed his "disrespectful" comment yesterday claiming the City boss sometimes "struggles to be a gentleman".

"It's a sad comment", Pochettino said.

"The players laugh about that". But if you're a manager, you must show more ...

"It's about Txiki but I think we'd like him to stay", he said. "It is not right in today's football when we want to show fair play and respect".

Pochettino has bristled at the suggestion that Spurs are a one-man team, calling Guardiola's comments disrespectful, but the Spaniard now says it was never his intention to belittle them.

"But in the same sentence he said Manchester United, Mourinho, and then he said it was the Harry Kane team. It was very disrespectful to the club".

"I know Pep", Pochettino was quoted as saying by Goal, "When he's excited after an fantastic win he struggles to keep his position and be a gentleman".

"Everyone deserves to be recognised".

However, with limited regular game time so far at Spurs due to the first XI's success in both the Premier League and Champions League, the talented youngster may well see his future elsewhere if he is unable to secure guaranteed minutes on the pitch.

Guardiola thought he had a good relationship with the Tottenham manager, who he believes must have misunderstood his comments.

"I always said it was Barcelona or Pep Guardiola". That's what he said?

'From the times I spoke with him, maybe my English is not so well, but I was never disrespectful to my colleague. Maybe after the press conference he calls me. For me, Harry Kane is one of the best strikers and it's important that our position is clear, to be calm and not be aggressive with our opponents.

'He knows I said Tottenham are one of the best teams playing.

"That is my opinion like I respect his opinion, but I don't think it will make the players more motivated or less motivated". So I'm really disappointed if he said that.

However, they were no match for Kane as the Spurs super-star scored six goals in his four Premier League appearances last month to take his tally to 11 in just 9 games in all competitions. "So I never said it was "the Messi team"".