“It’s about mentality,” was the reply. “And then we need to feel that we’re playing for Tottenham at home in front of our supporters. To have the opportunity to play in front of our supporters at White Hart Lane is something to be excited about.”
It’s a theory that has served the manager well. Since taking over in the summer of 2014, Mauricio has faced four teams from lower divisions - Forest, Brighton, Sheffield United (over two legs) and Colchester - winning four games and drawing one.
Below: Mauricio talks Gillingham with Spurs TV
Gillingham are next up in the third round of the EFL Cup.
Managed by former Spur Justin Edinburgh, the Gills are currently 13th in League One and notably beat Watford at Vicarage Road in the second round.
“We need to show hunger and passion against Gillingham,” said Mauricio.
“It’s a good opportunity for players who haven’t played too much to show their quality. The game arrives at a good moment for us but if we want to go to the next round, we know we have to play better than our opponent and try to follow in the same way that we’ve started the season.
“We will give a big welcome to Justin, who was our player for 10 years and won the FA Cup and his assistant (David Kerslake). These are people who love Tottenham too.
“Our challenge is always to go as far as we can in all competitions. It’s important to stay alive in the cups for the squad because it’s a good moment to give the whole squad an opportunity to play and to show they can be in the starting 11 for the Premier League.
“It will be tough, we will take the game seriously and try to get into the next round.”
GRAB OUR OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME!
Pick up your copy of our official matchday programme at the Gillingham game tonight.
Available from locations around the ground and from the Spurs Megastore, it’s £3.50 for 100 pages, including...
- Feature interview with Ben Davies
- Mauricio Pochettino's exclusive column
- A chat with Gillingham manager and ex-Spur Justin Edinburgh
- Jeepers keepers! Meet the seven goalkeepers who played for both clubs
- Centre of Attention: The lowdown on young midfielder Harry Winks
- Nostalgia, news, stats, academy latest and much more!
Sample it now for free with our 12-page online preview edition
and don't forget to buy yours at the game!
Full 100-page digital editions and subscriptions can also be bought via tottenhamhotspur.com/programme