Nabil Bentaleb is confident Tottenham’s disappointing Europa League exit will not have an adverse effect on them in the Capital One Cup final.
Spurs exited the European stage at the last-32 juncture on Thursday evening, with a 2-0 defeat at Fiorentina seeing them go out 3-1 on aggregate.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino insisted the trip to Florence was not a distraction ahead of Sunday’s clash with Chelsea, merely their “first final” – a match in which Bentaleb knows “silly mistakes” cost the north London side.
The Algeria midfielder admits they were “too casual”, but is convinced they have the wherewithal to respond at Wembley.
“We were really disappointed to lose, but we have to move on now,” Bentaleb said.
“We have an important game against Chelsea and we have to put our heads into winning it.
“It was not the best preparation but it was not bad. We have to make sure we bounce back like we have done many times already this season.
“We are used to it. Sometimes you win football matches, sometimes you lose, but the most important thing is the way you respond and I think we will be ready for Chelsea on Sunday.”
It is not the first time a Spurs player has made such comments after a Europa League game, only for the side to flounder in the Sunday fixture that followed.
“We need to be focused and it is tough,” Bentaleb said. “But in the Premier League we sometimes have a game every two days so it is no different to this.
“When you lose you have to stay calm and keep focused and move on to winning the next game. There is no time to feel down.”
Nobody will have left the Stadio Artemio Franchi feeling worse than Roberto Soldado.
The misfiring striker’s embarrassing first-half gaffe allowed Fiorentina to go on win the match, yet the Spaniard retains the confidence of his team-mates.
“Obviously he is sad,” Bentaleb said. “Sometimes you get opportunities in games and unfortunately in Fiorentina he did not take it.
“We help him all the time. He has everybody’s support. There is never a problem with that.”
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