“Negativity invaded us” – Poch opens up Tottenham’s journey to the Champions League final

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has overseen the transformation of the North London club in the last five years.

The club are now Champions League regulars and play at one of the best stadiums in world football.

Despite having a somewhat modest transfer budget, the Argentine has ensured that Spurs have been able to compete with teams that have invested considerably into their squads.

However, the manager has still come in for criticism for Tottenham’s lack of silverware, something that he hasn’t taken to kindly in the past.

It was hardly surprising that Pochettino was in tears when Spurs booked their place in the Champions League final to reaffirm the tireless work he has done over the past five years.

In an interview via a video link at the Bilbao International Football Summit, the 47-year-old opened up about the emotional journey Tottenham have endured to the Champions League final amidst all the problems the club have faced this season.

He said, “The start of the season was difficult, especially when we had to go back to playing at Wembley [Stadium]. The fans wanted to move to the new stadium.

“We suffered a lot; it seemed like the stadium would never be finished. The negativity invaded us a bit, but the people made a great effort to come back.

“It’s a great lesson for many people. When you go through what we did for 10 months, you can understand the tears in the semi-final.”

While he admitted that Liverpool come into the game as favorites, he claimed that the Lilywhites will go into the match confident as they have been put through some hard tests during the campaign.

He added, “Maybe Liverpool are favourites because they were in the final last year and they’ve fought for the [Premier League title] until the end. They’ve invested heavily to win either the Premier League or the Champions League in the last few years.

“No one expected Tottenham to be able to get to a final, but we’re here on our own merit. This makes it more amazing and you enjoy it in a different way. We can make history. Obviously, you play a final to win it and we’re preparing to win it.”

“No one was optimistic when we started the group stage with one point. We’ve been through very hard situations and the team has showed character.

“You don’t eliminate [Manchester] City or come back against Ajax by chance. This gave us strength.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Pochettino deserves unbelievable credit for his work as he has been able to safely steer the club through a tricky time period.

Irrespective of what happens in the final, Levy should reward him by backing him in the transfer market. With a few world-class additions, there is no doubt that the Argentine can get Tottenham competing for the League.

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