Tranmere v Spurs - Mauricio's preview
Fri 04 January 2019, 12:08|Tottenham Hotspur
Mentality, respect, attitude – key words for Mauricio Pochettino ahead of this evening’s FA Cup third round tie against Tranmere Rovers (7.45pm).
We’re on Merseyside for a tie that encapsulates the romance of the FA Cup as we take on League Two Rovers, a team promoted from the National League last season and now competing for promotion back into League One.
We came through similar away ties at Newport and Rochdale on our way to the semi-finals last year. Both matches summed up what this competition is all about. We needed a late penalty from Harry Kane to rescue a draw at Newport while Rochdale levelled in the 93rd minute – we won both replays at Wembley.
Mauricio has yet to lose to lower league opposition and aims to extend that record – currently at 16 matches – at Prenton Park tonight.
He said: “Mentality is one of the keys because in this type of game you must play with the right attitude and right mentality and of course, be humble and show respect to the opponent.
“They are in a different level to us but in one game, in the FA Cup, if you do not take the game in the right way you can struggle. That is one key.
“Then, if you have the same motivation and same attitude as the opponent, you will be close to the win because, sure, you are in another level and you must then show your quality.
“If you don’t have the right attitude you will struggle in this type of game. That is when you are in danger. That is why we will make sure we are at our best attitude and ready to play.”
Currently ninth in League Two, just behind the play-off places, Tranmere have come through replays against Oxford City and Southport to reach this stage.
Mauricio added: “We know very well that it’s going to be tough. Like in all the games - Premier League. Champions League, Carabao Cup - we prepare in the same way. We are going to try to pick the best players to be competitive and try to win, that’s our objective.”