Tuchel predicts bright future for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel believes success is just around the corner for Tottenham no matter what the outcome of Thursday’s Europa League tie.

Spurs lost the first leg 3-0 last week in Germany, meaning Mauricio Pochettino’s men may have to score four without reply at White Hart Lane to reach the quarter-finals.

Defeat in Europe, however, would quickly be forgotten if Tottenham went on to win the Barclays Premier League, where they currently sit second, five points behind Leicester with eight games left to play.

At the very least, Spurs’ youthful squad looks likely to qualify for the Champions League next season and Tuchel believes the future is bright for Pochettino’s side.

“With Pochettino it has become a clear way to play for Tottenham, an attacking side with a lot of possession as well and a very aggressive style of defending,” Tuchel said.

“These are things Dortmund were famous for in the last few years but we also developed and tried to reach new levels. Everybody has to find their way.

“Tottenham are finding their own style and not trying to imitate anything else. You have to find your own way in the league you play and in the cup games and of course in Europe.

“They have an excellent coach and squad. Success is coming. We will see where it ends.”

Pochettino drew criticism for resting a number of players in the Westfalenstadion, including Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele, but the Spurs boss is ready to rotate again, with Bournemouth to come in the league on Sunday.

Dembele and Christian Eriksen are both expected to sit out the match, while Kane may not play 90 minutes, but Tuchel feels no disappointment at the prospect of another weakened Tottenham line-up.

“Not at all. It is important we focus on ourselves. Who will know what the result would have been if other players had played?” Tuchel said.

“We do the same stuff in league games we rotate several positions and who is to say if this is now a weaker squad or not the best choice for this game? Wait and see tomorrow.

“I am not disappointed. I am not expecting anything. It is a big challenge to play here at White Hart Lane.

“We are eager and hungry to win here tomorrow and bring our top performance. We have respect for all Tottenham’s players and my colleague Pochettino will make his choices the best he can.

“I don’t think he has given up already. I can’t imagine that.”

Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan have not travelled with the Dortmund squad to London while full-back Erik Durm is a doubt after picking up a knock against Mainz last weekend.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored his 33rd goal of the season in the first leg, may be rested but Tuchel insists he is not thinking about his side’s visit to Augsburg on Sunday.

“There are no priorities,” Tuchel said. “Perhaps the Europa League is a once in a lifetime chance to go a long way because our goal is to play Champions League year after year.

“I’m very happy we showed an extraordinary performance and we have to show this again. We have to have our top focus and take it very seriously.”

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