Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pochettino embraces packed Spurs schedule

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Oct 2015

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Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham are ready for the physical and mental challenge of playing three games in six days, starting with the visit of struggling Aston Villa to White Hart Lane. 

Spurs host Villa in the Premier League on Monday, before another home game against Anderlecht in the Europa League on Thursday. 

After that comes a crucial trip to the Emirates Stadium on November 8 to face Arsenal in the first North London derby of the league season.  

While opportunities for recovery and tactical preparation will be limited in the days ahead, Pochettino has claimed his team are capable of handling the hectic schedule. 

“We need to accept it and we need to be ready and to work hard to try to avoid the problems that [come] when you play every two days. It’s not a big issue, we are ready to compete on Monday, Thursday and Sunday,” he told a news conference.

“During the 10 months [of the season] it sometimes happens that you have a very tough week. But I think it’s not an excuse for not getting a good result in Europe. I think the balance is good, we cannot complain.” 

Villa will arrive in the capital without a manager and bottom of the table following the sacking of ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood, having lost their last five matches in all competitions. 

However, Pochettino has warned his team, who are sixth in the Premier League, not to be complacent.

“Every game is tough in the Premier League and they have the motivation to win the game, to show the new manager that they can compete,” he added.

Kevin MacDonald is in caretaker charge of Villa after the dismissal of Sherwood, who was sacked last Sunday with the club holding just four points from 10 Premier League games this season.

Pochettino said: “We know him [MacDonald] – he’s a manager that we have information on but the most important thing is how we [approach] the game. We need to be focused, we need to forget that Aston Villa are last in the table.”

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