Tuesday’s stalemate at the Stadium of Light was a frustrating one for all those of a Spurs persuasion, but Mauricio is remaining calm as we prepare to host a Boro side that’s already taken points off Manchester City and Arsenal on the road this season (kick-off 5.30pm).
Asked if there was any additional emphasis on winning the game today in the wake of the result last time out, the manager replied: “No, not extra. I think we need to give our best to try to win.
“We talked a lot after Sunderland about how we all feel disappointed because we dropped two points and we missed a big opportunity to be close and reduce the gap to Chelsea but sometimes it’s football. In football it happens and it’s too difficult in this competitive league to play well in every game because the opponents play too, but it’s true that we need to change that feeling and try to be better than Middlesbrough.
“It will be, like I always repeat, a tough game but be sure that the players and us (the coaching staff) want to win, to get the three points to be close to the top and fight for a good position in the table.”
Boro have the sixth-best defensive record in the Premier League having shipped 26 goals in their 23 games so far, yet they’re 15th in the table at the start of the weekend.
“Middlesbrough is a team that maybe is in a position that doesn’t reflect their performances,” warned Mauricio. “They are playing very well, they have a very good defensive record, be sure that we will find a very tough team to break (down) but we are ready and we know what we need to do to try to break them (down). Now we need to deliver it on the pitch.”
Mauricio on the reaction of the players in training after Sunderland
“The reaction is always good, the attitude is always fantastic. We have a group of players that enjoy training and they feel a lot about the team, the club and our fans. For that reason, maybe it was tough because our idea was to get the three points (at Sunderland) but you know, it’s football, it’s a game and sometimes for different reasons you cannot win. But a good opportunity is now coming after a few days and we have to, in front of our fans, try to play very well, try to win the game and be sure that our performance will be good.”
On our form at the Lane
“Our results at home this season so far are very good but we need to fight for that, to keep the same results and try to win the game. Like always in the Premier League every game is tough and is competitive but we are ready to compete, we are in a very good mood, a very good mental state and be sure that we are ready to compete – that is the most important thing.”
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