Spurs need repeat performance to beat Chelsea, says Pochettino
27 February 2015, 15:35
London - Tottenham Hotspur must reproduce their "nearly perfect" Premier League performance against Chelsea to beat their London rivals in the League Cup final on Sunday, manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.
Spurs beat Jose Mourinho's side 5-3 on New Year's Day at White Hart Lane to deflate the league leaders, who have not fired on all cylinders since.
"Our performance was nearly perfect. We need to repeat the same performance to win the trophy," said Pochettino.
But the Argentine, whose English is improving with every news conference, knows the Wembley clash will be a very different affair and has been fine-tuning his tactics.
"We got this victory against Chelsea on the first of January and it's important for belief that we could, but I think it will be a different game. The final always is different," he told a pre-League Cup final news conference.
"Not only for me (as a manager) but for a lot of our players it's the first final of their career. We only need to prepare small tactical details. We know Chelsea, Chelsea know us and after that it's about our performance and motivation."
Pochettino will discard his tracksuit for an official club jacket when he returns to a ground he played at for Argentina before the twin towers were taken away and it was rebuilt.
The Argentine said he would not be nervous before his first showpiece as a manager, having played in the 2000 King's Cup final for Espanyol when they won their first trophy in 60 years.
"I was a player then, not a manager, and this is different. You always try to translate your experience to the players. We are confident we believe in our way, our philosophy."
Tottenham have not won a trophy since beating Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final and Pochettino is fully aware of the need to bring silverware back to White Hart Lane.
"When you arrive at a big club like Tottenham it's always important to play for a big competition and try to get a trophy. For us it's a big opportunity," he said. "It's many years without a trophy and it's a very good chance for us to win one.
"Winning the Capitol One Cup is important for us and if after we can reach the top four that would be great," added Pochettino, whose team lost 2-0 at Fiorentina on Thursday night to exit the Europa League at the last 32 stage.
The players must recover mentally and physically from their exertions in Italy but Pochettino has worked hard on their fitness and believes they are tough enough to cope.
"We believe that we are stronger than our opponents always," he said. "We work hard to provide the players with this feeling and it's a very positive thing for us to believe in our power.
"I'm not worried about Chelsea or their players. They are one of the best teams in the world and I think that whoever plays for Chelsea has the same philosophy. They are a great team, but we need to focus on our game."
Pochettino crossed swords with Mourinho when he was manager of Espanyol and the Portuguese coach was in charge of Real Madrid and he said they have a good relationship.
"He's a manager that I admire a lot, he's one of the best, or the best, in the world. For me it's an honour to play the final against him," said the Argentine, who must outwit the 'Special One' to get his hands on his first trophy as a coach.
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