Spurs v Everton - Mauricio's preview
13 January 2018|Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino is well aware of the Sam Allardyce factor at Everton.
The experienced former England boss replaced Ronald Koeman in late November and lifted the Toffees away from danger with a seven-match unbeaten run that saw them climb from 16th into the top 10.
They arrive at Wembley for today's 5.30pm kick-off sitting ninth in the Premier League despite back-to-back losses over New Year.
“It’s a completely different dynamic,” said Mauricio when it was suggested we now face a different Everton to the one we beat 3-0 at Goodison Park in September. “They are now under another manager and they have changed a lot in the six months since we played there.”
Interestingly, one of the matches in the seven-match unbeaten run was a goalless draw at home to Chelsea where Everton soaked up pressure - five efforts at goal to Chelsea’s 25 and none on target - to take that point.
It’s a scenario we’ve become used to at Wembley with teams ‘sitting in’ against us and happy to soak up pressure.
“Sam is a great manager, an experienced manager in England and of course it will be tough but we are ready to compete, to fight and to try to win,” said Mauricio. “That is our mentality, to try to get the three points.
“Everton are doing well and it’s not just playing defensively and trying to get one point but trying to win games. They have great players and it will be hard to beat them.
“I think more about what I expect from my team because it’s so important that we perform in the way we want to perform and try to win the game.”
We carved out 30-plus chances last time out against West Ham but were rocked when Pedro Obiang smashed a 30-yarder into the top corner to give the Hammers the lead with their first shot in the second half. Heung-Min Son matched it with his own screamer to at least salvage a 1-1 draw and Mauricio’s key message after that game was being more clinical.
“That is important because of the chances we created against West Ham and didn’t take advantage,” he added. “Maybe we need to improve and try to be more clinical but first we need to perform well, create the chances and in that moment, be aggressive and clinical, score goals and then defend well.
“There are a lot of positives to take at the moment. We’re consistent on the training ground and on the pitch when we compete. It’s so important to be consistent all season and fight for what we want to achieve.”