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Bayer Leverkusen v Spurs - Mauricio's press conference

Posted on 17 October 2016  - 18:00

Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the written and broadcast media at the BayArena on Monday evening, ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen. Here's the pick of what he had to say...


Can we start with team news and the latest on Toby Alderweireld?
Mauricio: "First of all, we don't have the results of the scan, but we believe it's not big issue. He took a very heavy knock on his leg and now we need to wait for the results. The scan was this afternoon and we'll see after that."

How much confidence do you have in Eric Dier as a central defender if he has to play there?
Mauricio: "The important thing is that we trust in him. It's not important the position he might play tomorrow - midfield, centre-back or full-back - we believe in him and we trust in him, we trust him his personality and his skill. For me, Eric is a player who can develop his game in different positions."

At various stages of the season you've been without Hugo Lloris, Mousa Dembele, Harry Kane, is it a sign of the strength of the squad you've been able to overcome that?
Mauricio: "In football, it can always happen. The squad is always important, the 25 players, and we really believe that. The quality of the squad and the competition between them is important. That is the power of the team, that everyone believes they can play, everyone has the possibility to fight for a place in the starting 11 in different competitions and if we want to achieve big things at the end it's important to keep that mentality in our squad."

Will it help lift the pressure at Wembley (for next game v Bayer Leverkusen on November 2) if you win this game?
Mauricio: "If we want to go to the next round it's key tomorrow to take the three points and then to play at Wembley in the same way. The next games here and at Wembley will be decisive for us and the possibility of going into the next round."

Roger Schmidt is a big admirer of yours and says the two teams have a similar style. Do you agree?
Mauricio: "I admire him a lot, I liked him when he was at Salzburg and now here at Leverkusen. I don't know him personally, but I've seen a lot of games and I like his philosophy and the way his team plays. It will be an exciting game and tomorrow will be a very good game to watch because both teams are aggressive, play with energy and the objective is to always go forward. It will be exciting. I'm excited to meet him."