Danny Rose said Mauricio Pochettino used Liverpool’s turnaround against Barcelona to inspire his Tottenham players to a thrilling Champions League comeback victory over Ajax.
Tottenham booked their place in the final against Liverpool after Lucas Moura’s second-half hat-trick brought them back from the brink at Johan Cruijff ArenA, where Ajax led their semi-final 3-0 on aggregate at half-time in the second leg only to go out on away goals.
Full-back Rose said the Spurs players watched Liverpool’s 4-0 second-leg victory over Barcelona 24 hours before the game and that Pochettino pointed to the Reds’ attitude as something to aspire to.
“We saw Liverpool last night,” Rose told BT Sport. “It goes to show it’s not over until it’s over.
“There were a few words said at half-time and we came out and played like that. It just goes to show we can beat anybody when we play like that.
“The gaffer mentioned it [the Liverpool game] at the hotel before we left. He just said that’s the right attitude.
“He doesn’t mind losing but you have to lose in the right way. How we started against Ajax in the first game wasn’t the right way.
“If we’d not won tonight he’d have been proud of the way we played at the end.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 8, 2019
Fellow defender Toby Alderweireld, who started his career at Ajax, said Pochettino’s men showed more desire to win.
The Belgium international left Ajax for Atletico Madrid in 2013 before arriving at Tottenham via Southampton, and he paid tribute to the Amsterdam club while hailing his current side’s staying power.
“It’s mentally very hard you know. If you concede two goals, you have to score three. I think this shows the team mentality,” said Alderweireld, whose side are fourth in the Premier League.
“[It has been] a difficult season for us, and, if you see our circumstances, to perform in the second half like this, it’s unbelievable.
“We put our heart on the pitch and I think after the first leg everyone was saying ‘Ajax, Ajax’, but we showed we wanted it more. I’m so proud of this team.
“We have to show them [Ajax] a lot of respect.
“They have a great philosophy and I’m very proud to have a history with Ajax. Credit to them.”
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