Colchester v Spurs - Mauricio's preview
29 January 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Focus, mentality and respect – key words for Mauricio Pochettino ahead of our FA Cup fourth round tie at Colchester United tomorrow (Saturday, January 30, 12.45pm).
It’s the first time Mauricio will have experienced an FA Cup tie away to lower-league opposition.
At Southampton, he faced Burnley, Yeovil (both at home) and Sunderland while his two seasons at the Lane have seen us take on all Premier League rivals so far - Burnley and Leicester last season and the Foxes again in the third round this time around.
Now he takes the team to the Weston Homes Community Stadium to face a U’s team currently sitting bottom of League One.
Indeed, they’ve only won three times since October 20 - all in the FA Cup.
But Mauricio will take nothing for granted.
Here is the Head Coach reflecting on a busy week that saw the team jet out to Barcelona for warm weather training before returning to tune in preparations for Colchester…
First of all, how do you feel? (Mauricio had to go home early on Thursday after feeling under the weather).
Mauricio: “I feel much better now. Yesterday I was a little sick, now I’m okay and ready for tomorrow.”
How are the players at the moment? How was Barcelona?
Mauricio: “We had a great time together in Barcelona and we all believe we can achieve our objectives. We’re all ready for tomorrow, it’s a good chance to go through to the next round but first we have to fight and play better than our opponents, Colchester.”
How important is team spirit in football?
Mauricio: “We need to realise that this is the first thing we need to achieve. If we are capable of keeping our spirit and atmosphere we can be successful, so it’s very important. The way we behave and the dynamic of the team is fantastic.”
Below: Mauricio sits down with Spurs TV ahead of the Colchester tie
This will be your first away match in the FA Cup against a lower-league team? What are your thoughts on Colchester?
Mauricio: “The FA Cup can always surprise you and for that reason we need to be focused on the game. Colchester are in League One and we expect a very tough game. It’s that magic that always makes the FA Cup and it’s important to be focused because every game is difficult. We will find a team that will be excited to play against us and we need to find the same level and motivation to try to win this game.”
It’s no secret that Colchester are struggling in League One, but they have found form in the FA Cup…
Mauricio: “The position they are in the league is not important because the FA Cup is a different competition, it’s only one game and we need to be careful. It will be a great atmosphere and for that reason, FA Cup games are always difficult.”
You always give full respect to your opponents…
Mauricio: “Yes, it’s key for us to respect every opponent, the way we behave and our values in the squad. We need to show respect to them and all teams we play. It’s always important to be 100 per cent in your mentality and motivation. We have to be ready to fight because this is a very tough game.”