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'We always feel the passion' - Mauricio previews the derby

Posted on 5 November 2016  - 16:30

The derby fire is always burning for Mauricio Pochettino.

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As he prepared the squad for Sunday's 12noon showdown at Arsenal, Mauricio took a brief trip down memory lane to his first derby as a young defender at Newells Old Boys in Argentina.

Mauricio joined the famous Argentine club's Academy set-up aged 14 in 1987 and progressed through to the first team under renowned coach Marcelo Bielsa, winning the Premiera Division in 1990-91.

Newell's Old Boys derby rivals are Rosario Central. "It was my first derby and what we all we felt at that moment is difficult to replicate," said Mauricio. "If I need to take one (derby in his career), that’s maybe the most important.

Below: Mauricio speaks to Spurs TV

 


"It was a different period in my life, I was 17, it’s the team where I was born, when I was 14 I was in the Academy and then into the first team. That (derby) feels different."

That passion runs deep - as it does for everyone connected to Spurs and Arsenal ahead of the north London derby.

"It’s true it’s different to play against Arsenal because it’s the derby, like Espanyol v Barcelona or Newell’s Old Boys v Rosario Central, all special games," he added.

"We always feel the passion about football. We’re excited, we’re always excited. We were excited to play against Leverkusen in the Champions League and now we’re excited to play against Arsenal. We know the game means different things for our fans and all people who love Tottenham.

"It would be fantastic to win on Sunday, for us and for all the fans who love Tottenham."

A good game for us?

Mauricio: "It’s always the case when you have a great game ahead, the derby against Arsenal, you have to be focused. It’s important to take the game without context, not thinking about what happened in the last few games and just focus on Arsenal and that we need to be at our best."

Mauricio on Arsenal

"Arsenal show consistency every season, every year, fighting to win the title. They are a very good team, good players. We all know how they are."

On being unbeaten against Arsenal in the Premier League

Mauricio: It’s positive, but football is about the present. It’s a good challenge to continue this run. We know it will be difficult, but we’re optimistic."

On the importance of the game this time around

Mauricio: "For me, every point is important, every win is important, every game is important. Football is in the present and that means the most important game is on Sunday."