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Thu 10 December 2020, 11:25|Tottenham Hotspur

Assistant Head Coach Joao Sacramento gives his thoughts on our UEFA Europa League Matchday Six clash at home to Royal Antwerp - essentially a shoot-out against the Belgians for first place in Group J.

Kick-off this evening is 8pm - you can tune into our popular pre-match show N17 Live at 6.45pm...

1 - First thing’s first...

Qualification is in the bag, how important is it to finish top of Group J? We need a win to do it...

Joao: “First of all, I think it’s important to mention the qualification we achieved in Austria last week, that was the main objective. But, of course, we want to be first. You know that when you are first in the group stage there are benefits that are quite important. Our objective is to finish first in the group and that means we need to win against Antwerp."

2 - Royal Antwerp

The Belgian side inflicted our sole defeat in the last 19 games - what does Joao expect from Royal Antwerp this evening?

Joao: “The game in Belgium wasn’t easy, a tough team, very physical, man-marking and in these games, sometimes if you don’t start well, they can be very complicated. We want to learn the lessons from the first game and try to win. We need to try to invert what happened there. They tried to put us under pressure from the first minute and now, it is our time, we need to put pressure on them, not allow them to play."

3 - To care is to do...

Joao summed up the importance of this final group game...

Joao: “We are strong at home, that’s true. I think it’s important to mention that the players care about this competition. We have a big squad, and each minute is an opportunity for each player to show their value and to show us they deserve a position in the team. I think the lads are doing well, showing good commitment and that will happen again.”

4 - Son shine

Joao’s joy on the final whistle of Sunday’s derby win was captured perfectly on camera...

Joao: “It’s natural. A football game is 90 minutes of emotions and when you win, the feeling is very good, like a relief that comes from your body after 90 minutes of massive stress. I just believe that if you want to achieve something you need to be committed, on the same tune and show these emotions, because football is emotion.”

5 - A year on...

Joao has been with us as part of Jose Mourinho’s coaching team for just over a year now - how would he sum up those first 12 months?

Joao: “I’m always saying this... it’s a massive club, a massive responsibility and I really enjoy this pressure, when we come in every day and we feel the dimensions of this club. I’m really, really happy with my first year and I hope we can finish this season with some gifts for our fans.”