Ahead of the Manchester United game Mauricio Pochettino has been speaking with the Official Tottenham Hotspur website and he brings up the elements we coaches know make a difference but that other fan website dismiss as rubbish. This was just another game for three points.
"For me, it's Manchester United v Tottenham, two big clubs, two teams that want success in England and in Europe, that’s most important. The duelling on the pitch is 11 v 11 from the beginning and then we’ll see."
This simply breaks down the game to basics, a players name is totally irrelevant. If you spend your time worrying about the opposition then you are not concentrating on your own game and what you need to achieve, as individuals or a team.
How do the players feel ahead of this game?
"We need to feel every game in the Premier League - every time we play - is a big game for us. Yes, it’s true this is Old Trafford and a there is a lot of history with Manchester United. It’s good to come from a good victory in the Champions League, important to build our confidence and everything was positive after CSKA, now we’re trying to prepare in the best way possible.
The game is about mentality. We played against Manchester City with the right mentality, we outplayed Chelsea for 45 minutes, drew at Arsenal, drew with Liverpool. We haven't really produced the Manchester City performance again though. It is a theme I have spoken about before,that every game is a big game and if we treat them as such then we are far more likely to get the positive results we want. Too many games we have gone through the motions waiting for the opposition to make a mistake and when they don't we look a far too passive side, passing sideways at no pace too much.
Is the team in good spirits after the wins against Swansea and CSKA?
"Yes, we’re in good spirits. It’s always important to recover the feeling of winning games and now we know Manchester United is a very good team with very good players and that we to have to fight a lot to try and get the three points. Our mentality always needs to be strong, positive and to believe we can win every game we play. We cannot change that. We need to keep it in our minds to be positive and ambitious."
Positive always, a few websites could learn a thing or two from this guy! If you don't believe you can do something, then you can't, it's that simple. If you go into any game with the wrong mindset you have lost before you have started. That's partly why building a fortress at home is important, you want teams to be apprehensive playing you on your own turf. Today we were away and having broken the hoodoo a few years back Old Trafford no longer holds any fears, the scars are not there.
What are your thoughts on Jose Mourinho?
"It’s difficult to arrive at a big club like Manchester United but I admire him, he’s a great coach, one of the best managers in the world and nothing has changed my vision of him."
Reporters seem to expect every manager to turn up at a club and change them around immediately. Mourinho inherited a squad built by another coach to play in another way. Manchester United have spent a fortune in the transfer market since Sir Ales Ferguson left and have wasted a awful lot of it, turning them around will take time. It was a bit different for Antonio Conte at Chelsea, he already had the players, they just didn't want to play for Mourinho any more, so they didn't.
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