Following his side’s 1-0 win against Inter on Wednesday night which keeps Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League hunt, coach Mauricio Pochettino has called on the team to follow it up by finishing the job and reaching the knockout stage.
A late Christian Eriksen strike means that it is all to play for going into the final round of games, with Spurs and Inter level on points, as Tottenham travel to already-qualified Barcelona, while the Serie A side welcome already-eliminated PSV to Milan.
Spurs now have qualification in their hands as a result of their victory, although Pochettino isn’t banking on facing a weakened Barcelona in the final game as a result of the Spaniards already being assured of top spot and is determined only to focus on his own charges.
“I think it was a very good performance and we fully deserved the victory. Inter are a good team and showed a great level, they are so difficult to beat,” the Argentine told the assembled media afterwards.
“We created the best chances and deserved to win. We are in a position that depends on us and if we win in Barcelona, we will make it through but that will be another difficult game. Anything is possible in football and we know that it will be so tough for us there.
“However, we have belief and faith that we can win and qualify. I know they are already through but I don’t know how they will set up and we can only prepare in the best way ourselves. Nobody is going to give you a present in the Champions League.”
The Spurs winner came via a substitute in the form of Eriksen and while Pochettino was quizzed on why he chose to leave the Dane on the bench to start the night, he believes such decisions shouldn’t be over-analysed.
“He was on the bench because we can’t play 12 or 13 players! One thing I don’t like football is that you have to keep those guys on the bench. It should be more like basketball where you can take guys on and off,” joked the Argentine.
“But we are playing every three days and not everyone, aside from the goalkeeper, can play in every game so we have to rotate and mix things up so everyone feels important. For me it is about the overall quality of the squad.
“If we win, our decisions are right and if we lose, we are wrong but I want to change the mentality in football where we question why someone plays or why someone doesn’t play. We spend hours each day with the players and make the best decision for the team.”