Manchester City vs Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino wants new stadium to spur his team on

Mark Critchley
The Independent

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham Hotspur must start to challenge for the Premier League and the Champions League on a regular basis now that their new stadium has been built.

Tottenham take a slender 1-0 first-leg lead into their quarter-final against Manchester City on Wednesday night, having beaten Pep Guardiola's side at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week.

The construction of the 62,062-capacity ground has had an impact on Pochettino's ability to strengthen his squad. In January, Spurs became the first club in Premier League history to not sign a first-team player in two consecutive transfer windows.

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The Argentine now hopes that such frugality is a thing of the past and he hopes that, whether they progress to this year's Champions League semi-finals or not, the club will grace the latter stages of this competition more often from now on.

"For me, after this season, a chapter is going to be closed and we are going to start another chapter and we need to translate to our fans what we want to do, which is challenge for the next few years," Pochettino said.

"With our new stadium, we need to be contenders to fight for the Premier League and fighting for the Champions League, and find the tools to try to be there.

"To win, it's tough. It's the same for Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona - investing a lot of money but it is so difficult to win because only one can win. For us, there is going to be a challenge and it's going to be tough to find a way.

"Still, we are not there. I think it's true that we are competing at a very good level in the last few years but I think we have a lot of work to be on the level we want in the future."

City have no such qualms about spending money, having spent approximately £480million since Guardiola's appointment as manager in the summer of 2016. Tottenham, by contrast, have spent around £175m over the same period.

Some managers may point to this as evidence of a competitive disadvantage and temper expectations of European success accordingly. But Pochettino insisted that now Tottenham find themselves in this position, they must go out to win.

"The moment you decide you have all the tools to start the competition, you need to stop thinking you don’t have the budget to compete with different clubs who have different plans than us," he said.

"The moment you close your squad and you have your players, it's about believing and trying to create the plan for success. We are ambitious. We are here not because we love to play football but because we love to compete and we love to win.

Mauricio Pochettino wants Spurs to be more consistent (Action Images via Reuters)
Mauricio Pochettino wants Spurs to be more consistent (Action Images via Reuters)

"Of course, if you compare us with another team, maybe we are in a different financial position or [we have] a different strategy or a different plan in the last four or five years. We are achieving a lot of things that if you go back no one believes, but now at this stage you must forget and you must compete.

"It is two teams that will compete to win and be in the semi-final. Then at the end, we need to congratulate one another. I'm not going to complain. If you are in the competition, you are in the competition."

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