Tuesday March 6 2018
Poch ready for ‘fantastic battle’

Mauricio Pochettino has asserted that Tottenham Hotspur are ready for “a fantastic battle” when they lock horns with Juventus on Wednesday.

Spurs are in control of their Champions League last-16 tie with Juve, having salvaged a 2-2 draw away from home in the first leg, and Pochettino was in high spirits ahead of the return at Wembley.

“I want to send my condolences to the Astori family and all the people who love him,” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“I had the possibility to meet him three years ago. Had the chance to sign him at Southampton and spent three hours with him, over lunch.

“We share the pain. I want to send all my energy to his family. For me it was like for everyone, it’s remembering everything in my mind with Dani Jarque when I was manager of Espanyol.

“It’s so difficult to find the explanation. It’s so difficult. It’s impossible to understand these type of things.

“The first leg? The team was suffering because of the shock of the first goal.

“After that the team played so well and of course you need some luck. For him to miss the penalty was a massive boost for us. We are ready to compete and ready to enjoy.

“I think he is one of the greatest strikers in the world. One of the best with Harry Kane.

“We played there and he was on the pitch, we know it’s very difficult to stop a player like this, like Messi and Dybala.

“We must be careful with him but also all the players we are going to play tomorrow.

“It’s a great chance to go through. Every game we show our true face, sometimes good, sometimes not so good.

“It’s been step by step, a little step every season. You can see the team is more mature. We are going to enjoy tomorrow.

“We know very well we are playing one of the best teams in Europe but we are a brave team and very positive people.

"What I love about the music? The music, no honestly the music. I face the best managers in the world in the Premier League, so the music."

“We need to think that we can win, we always think in this way. Then what happens will be the consequence. If we are able to play in the way we normally do then we will be close to winning.

“Last season was a massive disappointment to be out in the first stage, but this year of course the people in Europe start to respect Tottenham.

“They respect the philosophy we build and the football we play. We feel we have respect for the brand of football we show, they respect us in Europe we feel.

“It’s true that when you are going to play in this type of competition, for me the most important competition after the World Cup, you feel the atmosphere is different.

“People are focused but maybe a little bit more excited. You feel it’s not the same as another competition.

“What I love about the music? The music, no honestly the music. I face the best managers in the world in the Premier League, so the music.

In front we have a big possibility, but in football we know you have to deserve it. We are going to play a team that has played in two of the last three finals.

“It will be a fantastic battle. Only think about tomorrow and not the consequences. We need to feel free. At the end of the season we will see. I am confident that the team is mature enough.”