'We need to be ready for this game' - Mauricio previews Chelsea
26 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
There are so many strands to our return to Stamford Bridge but Mauricio Pochettino is only focused on one - us.
Last season's clash, of course, Chelsea's form, Chelsea's system, Antonio Conte, our loss in Monaco - all talking points ahead of our latest London derby in the Premier League.
All of which will matter little when the teams cross the white line at 5.30pm today. "The most important thing is how we are, how we feel, how we play and how we take our tactics onto the pitch," said Mauricio.
"We want to win because we want to be unbeaten after Chelsea, we want to be closer to the top, many reasons. We need to forget the past but it’s true, it’s impossible for the media and the supporters not to think about that but for us, we need to be ready for this game and try to win."
Below: Maurico speaks to Spurs TV
How had the players responded to Tuesday's loss at Monaco in the Champions League? Mauricio: "They are okay, disappointed about the result and that we’re out, that’s the feeling we have now. But you cannot stop football, you have to look ahead and be ready for a big game on Saturday. We’re playing a lot of big games at the moment and we need to be ready, that’s most important."
'There is always a lot of opinion'
It was suggested to Mauricio that a lot of people had a lot of say after the defeat in Monaco. Mauricio: "You know when you lose a game and you are out of the Champions League, there is a lot of opinion, a lot of different reasons people find why - we accept that and we understand that is the business of football. When you win games and when you are ahead of other teams at the top of the table, it’s easy to talk, everything is positive. We need to accept it. We need to find why, to analyse and assess what happened and try to be clever, to fix it. It’s true it was a tough moment for us but now we have a very important game ahead against Chelsea."
The bigger picture?
Is there too much short-term thinking in football? Not enough perspective after victory and defeat? Mauricio: "That is football, that is the business. You must win every game, if not, you are in crisis or have problems. You need to accept that. We must see the whole picture but we cannot expect that the media or the people are looking the same as us. You always need to accept opinion, accept criticism because we’re here to try to win games and win titles. If we cannot achieve that, it’s normal that we’re criticised."
Mauricio on Chelsea
Chelsea go into this weekend top of the Premier League with six wins on the trot. "They have showed they are able to be at the top, their advantage is that they only play in the Premier League because they are out of Europe and the League Cup. They have a very good team, a great manager and now they are in great form and deserve to be at the top. Our challenge is to try to compete and try to win the game, as always."
It's about us
Mauricio was asked about Chelsea's switch to three at the back. "They started with four at the back and then they changed, I remember, they were 3-0 down at the Emirates and changed to three at the back. That’s about finding the best way with the players you have and I think Chelsea are now in good form but like always, the most important thing is how we are, how we feel, how we play, how we take our tactics onto the pitch. That is most important."
Mauricio on Conte
"He was here (at the training centre) about two years ago when he was manager of Italy. We have a very good relationship. It was great to get to know him, to share four or five hours together. It was fantastic to meet him and I’m excited to see him again. Sure, during 90 minutes we will compete like enemies but before and at the end, we’re professional, we have a good relationship and why change that after the result?"