Poch on whether Spurs are better prepared for knockout football after last year

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur will take on Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 at Wembley stadium on this evening.

Victory will see Spurs create history with the club having never won a home tie in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Tottenham fell at the same stage of the competition last season when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to Juventus. Spurs were in great form in the competition up until that point, finishing top of a group that contained Real Madrid as well as our opponent Borussia Dortmund.

After going 2-0 down to Juventus within ten minutes of the first leg at Turin, Spurs came back strongly to level the tie 2-2. In the return fixture at Wembley, Spurs took the lead through Heung-Min Son, and seemed to have the Italian champions right where they wanted them.

However, Juve turned the tie around with a quickfire double in the second half, putting Spurs out of the competition.

Pochettino was asked by the media at yesterday’s press conference at Hotspur Way if the Juventus experience will help the team going into the Dortmund tie, and the Argentine insisted that last year’s experience will have little bearing on it.

Pochettino told Football.London: “It’s different: a different year, season and momentum. The period is completely different. Of course, we believe and we have an amazing motivation to play because it’s the last 16 of the Champions League.

“Everyone wants to play, everyone is excited but we’re not thinking about last year. We just need to be ready to compete in our best way.

“I don’t believe that (experience will make a difference). We’re playing a year later and experience is not important. The most important thing is the level we show tomorrow, the way we are today and the way we approach the game.

“If we’re capable of being better than the opponent and deserve to win, we’ll go through. But experience is nothing if you’re not better than your opponent.”

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