Tottenham must recreate the display that saw them to victory Chelsea on New Year’s Day if they are to beat the Blues to the Capital One Cup, according to head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Having had a poor record against the Premier League’s top sides, Pochettino oversaw a memorable 5-3 win over their London rivals at the turn of the year – with Harry Kane particularly impressive as he scored a brace.
Spurs may go into Sunday’s final on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Fiorentina which saw them knocked out of the Europa league but, with Pochettino calling for a repeat of the Chelsea game, the Argentinian remains confident a first trophy since 2008 is possible.
“We got this victory against Chelsea on January 1 and it is important for belief,” he said.
“I think it will be a different game, a final is always different. If you saw the game, our performance was nearly perfect and we played very well. We need to repeat the same performance to come close to winning the trophy.
“When you arrive at Tottenham, you know they are a big club. It is important to always be close to play for a big competition and try to get the trophy – for us it is a very good opportunity.
“It is true there have been many years without a trophy so this is a very good chance to give the club another.”
Pochettino will come up against Jose Mourinho once again, with the duo having faced one another in the Primera Division with Mourinho at Real Madrid whilst Pochettino was in charge of Espanyol.
“We have a very good relationship from Spain,” he said of the Portuguese ahead of Sunday’s Wembley encounter.
“He is a manager I admire a lot. I think he is one of the best, if not the best, in the world. For me it is an honour to play a final against him.
“In our minds we feel we are always stronger than the opponent – we work hard to provide that feeling to the players and it is a very positive thing for us.”
The Chelsea boss caused a stir with comments made on television last weekend and has long-claimed that there is a ‘campaign’ against his side.
Mourinho’s latest rant came after midfielder Nemanja Matic was sent off for reacting to a poor challenge from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes – with the Serbia international now missing the final through suspension.
Mourinho has been outspoken against the level of officiating this season but Pochettino is not worried about referee Anthony Taylor or his assistants being influenced on Sunday.
“No, I don’t think the decisions of the referee will be affected,” he added. “They are professional and we have trust in them. I don’t think we need to be scared or worry about that.”
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