Wednesday February 17 2016
Sousa: ‘Different Spurs this year’

Fiorentina face “a different Tottenham” in the Europa League this season, Coach Paulo Sousa cautions.

The Viola knocked the English side out of the competition last season, and face Spurs at Artemio Franchi in the first leg of their Last 32 tie tomorrow.

“It’s a different Tottenham from last year,” Sousa warned in his pre-match Press conference.

“Also from the point of view of tournaments. Players have come into their squad who are giving more and they’ve managed to rotate throughout the season while maintaining very high levels, and that’s important.

“They have a lot of quality, so even an injury doesn’t make them weaker. They’re more consistent and in fact they have more points.

“They’re rotating even against the big teams and continuing to win. They haven’t played against us so far though, and we have to go for it.

“We hope they aren’t superior, but with our style we can have more possession.

“They have so many players that increase the value of the team, particularly in attack. Mainly on a physical level, but also in terms of running and change of pace.

“They’re a team who play an intense style throughout the match and they’re used to these kind of games. Yes, you could call them favourites.

“But we maintain a 50 per cent chance, because of our attitude of playing to win. This is a game which is almost like the Champions League, high level, competitive, technical, tactical and physical.

“It will allow us to improve our play against teams which rotate in every game, unlike those in the Italian League.

“They defend as a team, also maintaining high intensity because that’s a characteristic of British teams.”

Sousa was then asked whether he’ll make changes for this game, following Sunday’s clash with Inter.

“It’s possible, also for strategic reasons since this is a two-legged tie. When the draw happened we said right away that it wasn’t the best for us or Tottenham, we’re very close in terms of ability.

“I think playing in Europe is what you work for, it’s the choices and details that affect a season positively or negatively.

“The results show that Fiorentina have done well and are in Europe. It’s a source of pride for the city, and we’ll try to be in Europe again next year because it’s good for the city, the club and the players.”