Pochettino says Spurs are looking forward to “historic” Champions League match

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his players are excited to be part of a “historic” moment when they face AS Monaco in Champions League action at Wembley Stadium

Pochettino says Spurs are looking forward to “historic” Champions League match

SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER, MAURICIO POCHETTINO, SAYING:

“I think it will be a fantastic moment to share with our fans. All of our players are very excited to play, are very motivated. I think it’s a good opportunity to share with nearly 90,000 Tottenham fans. I think it will be an historic moment for us to share. The most important thing is to try and enjoy and try to win the game, because in the end that is the important thing too, get the victory.”

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER, MAURICIO POCHETTINO, SAYING ON WEMBLEY PITCH SIZE:

“It’s true it’s a little bit bigger and can help the team that is used to playing along the grass and play in possession… and the team that builds from the back, like us, will have more space and more possibility to play and difficult for the opponent to press you. But in the end I think it’s not a big problem, we’re training a lot, we run a lot every training session every day and it’s not a problem to be worried about our physical condition.”

STORY: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday (September 13) that his players were excited to be part of a “historic” moment when they face AS Monaco in Champions League action at Wembley Stadium.

Spurs have moved their Champions League matches to Wembley because their atmospheric White Hart Lane stadium has been reduced to a 31,000 capacity for its final season while a new 60,000-seat arena is built adjacent to their current ground.

The north London club have sold 80,000 tickets for their Group E opener on Wednesday evening (September 14) — boasting that the crowd will be the biggest home attendance for an English club in the competition.

“I think it will be a fantastic moment to share with our fans. All of our players are very excited to play, are very motivated. I think it’s a good opportunity to share with nearly 90,000 Tottenham fans. I think it will be an historic moment for us to share,” Pochettino told reporters at the club’s training ground.

“The most important thing is to try and enjoy and try to win the game, because in the end that is the important thing too, get the victory,” he added.

Whether the vast expanse of Wembley will inspire Tottenham any more than the opposition is the big question, however, and it has not been a particularly happy hunting ground.

Of the five matches Spurs have played at the new Wembley only once did they triumph, against Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final, with each subsequent visit ending in disappointment.

But Pochettino brushed aside concerns that the stadium’s larger pitch would pose his team a problem.

“It’s true it’s a little bit bigger and can help the team that is used to playing along the grass and play in possession… and the team that builds from the back, like us, will have more space and more possibility to play and difficult for the opponent to press you. But in the end I think it’s not a big problem, we’re training a lot, we run a lot every training session every day and it’s not a problem to be worried about our physical condition,” he said.

For the past year Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side have certainly played football worthy of a big stage.

They qualified automatically for the group phase of the Champions League after finishing third in the Premier League last season, having pushed title-winning Leicester City hardest until a buckling under the pressure at the death.

Early indications are that the squad will be challenging hard again at the top of the table with Saturday’s 4-0 win away to Stoke City their best performance of the season so far.

Tottenham and Monaco have recent history.

They faced each other in the Europa League group stage last season, Spurs winning 4-1 at home with an Erik Lamela hat-trick having drawn 1-1 in the away tie.

But Monaco have shown early-season form and top Ligue 1, having crushed Lille 4-1 away at the weekend.

In Radamel Falcao, who is back from injury, they have a striker of proven pedigree and they also have the recent memory of a last-16 defeat of Arsenal in 2014-15.

Tags : match, league, champions, historic, Forward, looking, Spurs, says, Pochettino

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