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'We need to be aggressive' - Mauricio previews West Brom

Posted on 24 November 2017  - 12:45

Patience and aggression are the key words for Mauricio Pochettino as we return to Premier League action against West Brom on Saturday.

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Just days after completing the outstanding achievement of topping our Champions League group with a win at Borussia Dortmund we’re back at Wembley, connected by EE, with Mauricio and the squad determined to return to winning ways in the Premier League after the derby defeat last weekend.

“It’s fantastic to finish top of our group in the Champions League, a massive achievement,” said Mauricio. “But in football, you cannot stop and we must be competitive again on Saturday.

"After the defeat against Arsenal it’s important to win and take three points.”

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Visiting teams have pushed us all the way at Wembley so far this season with Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Palace all happy to sit deep and collectively proving tough to crack.

Renowned for their defensive organisation under now-departed boss Tony Pulis, you would expect the same again from West Brom as they arrive at Wembley just outside the bottom three having gone 10 games without a win and losing four on the spin.

“It’s true we’ve struggled a little when opponents come to Wembley and play deeper and they have the motivation, of course,” said Mauricio. “We need to improve in our positional game in the last third and sometimes we need to show more patience to build the option to create a chance.

“West Brom are very aggressive, physically strong and we’ll be ready to fight because it’s a team that loves to play on the counter-attack. They work very hard on set-pieces and are always dangerous. We need to avoid these situations.

"We need to be aggressive with and without the ball and play our game in the way that benefits us.”

How does losing a manager - in this case Pulis - affect a dressing room?
Mauricio: “It’s so difficult to speak from the outside but it’s never nice to hear when a colleague is sacked. For us, we need to be focused on ourselves. I feel sorry for Tony, a good guy and good friend, but that’s football, that’s life.”

How do you prepare the team for this busy winter period (14 matches in seven weeks, November 18-January 6)?
Mauricio: “That is all about taking the best decisions for the team, to assess and to be right in all decisions that affect the team and individuals. We make sure all players feel important and involved, that’s the only way to be right and to get as many points as possible.”

So it’s about getting that balance right game to game?
Mauricio: “Yes, the balance is so important and then it’s to be right in your judgement of every single player and to have the capacity all together to take the best decisions."