Tottenham will be playing their first Champions League semifinal in more than 50 years when they line up against Ajax tomorrow for the first leg at Tottenham’s new stadium.
Even the most optimistic of Spurs fans wouldn’t have given their team a chance of being in the final four of the competition when the Lilywhites languished at the bottom of their group with just a point from their first three games.
While this is indeed a great opportunity for Pochettino’s men to create history, the Tottenham manager wants his players to be brave and enjoy the occasion rather than worry about the result.
Speaking to Football.London, the Argentine said, “Most important is what we create, is that spirit that makes you believe all is possible and you can achieve all you want.
“We will miss players who are not available but always the most important is that genuine feeling we can achieve all as a collective.
“That is our strength, that we think like a team, and difficult to create only through talking. We are working a lot, trying a lot to deliver that.”
The 47-year-old also praised the bravery Lucas Moura showed by tackling the questions in English during the pre-match press conference and said that he wants the Brazilian to be as brave on the pitch against Ajax.
Pochettino added, “Lucas is so brave. He has very good English but it’s not easy to sit and talk in front of you relaxed. But he is so brave and hope that tomorrow we can enjoy a great game and give to our fans a very good performance and be close to winning.
“It will be a magic night because to play a semi-final in our new stadium is something nobody can believe or think a few months ago but we are here and we feel the responsibility but I think the excitement, the motivation, and happiness are bigger than any responsibility.”
Spurs Web’s take:
It will indeed be a magical night tomorrow as a couple of generations of Tottenham fans have never witnessed their side reach the semifinals of Europe’s most prestigious competition.
The atmosphere is likely to be electric and the players need to enjoy the occasion as it might be the last time some of them reach this stage of the competition in their careers.
What is also undeniable is that Tottenham now have an unbelievable opportunity to get final in Madrid, and that might put the team under extra pressure on Tuesday.
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