Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pochettino wants Tottenham to create Wembley fortress

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 1 Nov 2016


Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to use a familiarity with Wembley to make their Champions League fixtures more daunting for their opponents.

Tottenham are playing their European fixtures in the iconic national stadium due to White Hart Lane being partly demolished for the development of a new home on an adjacent site.

Spurs’ opening match of the campaign at Wembley ended in a 2-1 defeat to Group E rivals Monaco, but Pochettino believes a knowledge of the different routine will put his players at ease for Wednesday’s match against Bayer Leverkusen.

Furthermore, the manager wants the players to draw upon the increased support and turn the venue into a fortress on European nights.

“It’s true White Hart Lane is our home and it’s always difficult for the opponent to come and take a result from there,” said Pochettino.

“It’s always a motivation for an opponent to come to England and play at Wembley, but it must inspire us because 90,000 people that support you must be a big problem for our opponent. It’s in our mind to create that energy.

“Against Monaco it was all new for us. The changing room was different, the place of the families, of the supporters.

“Now we know that tomorrow we are in Wembley, we know how to arrive, our habits, now it will be completely different. I hope it will be in the result too.

“It wasn’t a problem about the approach [last time]. We conceded two goals very early, but we played well. That can happen in football, but we cannot blame Wembley because we played with nearly 90,000 fans.

“We need to be clever now, to play with intensity from the first moment of the game. That’s what we need to improve from the last game at Wembley against Monaco.”

In the absence of star striker Harry Kane, who will not return from injury until this weekend, Tottenham have scored just three goals in their last five matches in all competitions.

Pochettino is aware of their recent shortcomings in front of goal and wants to seem more aggression in the final third.

“Maybe we need to improve in our offensive situation and be more clinical. We need to be more determined or aggressive in the last third,” he added.

“We are creating maybe the same chances as before, but it’s true that our percentage was poor in front of the goal and we need to improve that. We are talking and we are working on that.

“The stats are not bad about creating chances and shooting – all the offensive stats are good, but we need to score more. That is a thing to work on.”


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