Poch first focused on Fiorentina

Image: SpursWeb

Mauricio Pochettino will approach both of Tottenham’s fixtures this week as though they are individual cup finals.

Spurs meet London rivals Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday but face a tricky tie against Fiorentina in Italy on Thursday – with the scoreline locked at 1-1 following the opening leg.

Many eyes may be looking beyond the trip to Florence, but Pochettino insists focus must remain on Europa League progression rather than picking up silverware at the weekend.

“It will be a difficult game,” he said.

“I think this is our first final before Sunday as Fiorentina are only one game from going into the next round. We know that we need to score, but we are confident.

Top goalscorer Harry Kane, as well as the likes of Danny Rose and Erik Lamela, sat out of the opening leg at White Hart Lane last Thursday and could be wrapped in cotton wool before Sunday’s meeting with Chelsea.

“We need to decide on the line-up,” Pochettino added.

“We have played two tough games against Fiorentina and West Ham (in the last week) so we need to decide on the best team.”

Despite playing across three competitions in the space of a week, Spurs will be hopeful of progressing in Europe, beating Chelsea in the cup final and keeping up their chase for a top-four spot in the Barclays Premier League.

That may be seen as something of a challenge but midfielder Nabil Bentaleb insisted following the West Ham game that no competition will be taken lightly.

“We’d be gutted if we go out of the Europa League,” he said.

“We’re going to go on Thursday to Fiorentina to win that game. If we start thinking like this we’re not going anywhere. We have to keep that hunger we have inside us to want to win everything.”

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