Press conference – Pochettino on Cardiff test

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Spurs will be looking to make it three wins from the last three games in the Premier League this weekend, as they have seen a remarkable return of form in recent weeks.

This steady run was halted by Barcelona and the mighty Messi in midweek, but Tottenham should take positives from their gutsy performance.

With a severely depleted team, Spurs put on a great showing, and very nearly escaped with a point against the Spanish giants.

First team stars such as Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele all missed the clash, and will also miss this weekend’s game.

Without these stars, squad rotation becomes difficult for Pochettino, with fixtures piling up and putting stress on the players’ weary legs.

A win would take Tottenham just one point off the top of the table come Saturday night, which would be sweet reading for the Spurs faithful.

Pochettino spoke about the match during his press conference, as reported by Football London.

He said: “I think with full respect to Cardiff it will be a tough game too. In the Premier League there are no easy games. Everyone can think the motivation to play against Barcelona and it looks like we are going to play Saturday and it will be an easy game. For me it’s the opposite. The most difficult game is the game that everyone believes outside of the team that you must win.

“For us it’s so important to be motivated in the same level. If not we are going to struggle. There are a lot of examples in football when you don’t respect the opponent. We have full respect to Cardiff. It will be so tough. It has been difficult to beat them for different teams. We were watching. I think a similar style or philosophy to Huddersfield and it was so tough for us to beat them. Of course they are three important points that we have ahead.

“We’re so focused in trying to not be affected by Wednesday. It’s true the effort was massive. We need to be ready. The competition doesn’t wait for you. We need to be ready again to play tomorrow.

“Yes, it would be fantastic for us [to be one point off top] but we need to, before to see the end of the race we need to be involved in the race and perform and deserve to win. Sometimes it’s like we translate ourselves to the future. Ok, 5pm Saturday three points and I think if you think like this it’s a massive mistake.

“You need to see yourself playing well and scoring goals and that is the best way to prepare for the game and thinking it will be tough if we’re not ready to compete from the first moment to the end sure it will be a difficult game.

On the state of the Wembley pitch, Poch said: “No, I’m not going to complain. Maybe from outside it looks not good, but inside it’s ok. It’s possible to play football. If we don’t play well it’s not because of the pitch. It’s maybe that we lack the quality not because of the pitch. I promise, it’s true from the stand it looks difficult to play but when you’re there you can see that it’s ok, the pitch to play.”

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