Mauricio Pochettino exclusive: ‘Tottenham must become world-class on the pitch to match world-class new stadium’
Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his Tottenham team to back up their new world-class facilities with world-class performances on the pitch.
Spurs kicked off a new era for the club in their new £1billion stadium in fine style, as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Wednesday night.
It was a euphoric evening for supporters, who packed out the 62,000-seater ground to create an amazing atmosphere as they returned home to N17.
And it was a decent night for the team too, who saw off the Eagles rather comfortably as goals from Heung-min Son and Christian Eriksen sealed their first victory at their new home.
Pochettino was in a jubilant mood after the final whistle and hinted at a long-term future in charge, saying he feels ‘very lucky to be manager of this amazing club’.
But, the boss also sent a message to his team: they need to raise their level on the field to match the state-of-the-art stadium they can now call home.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT commentator Sam Matterface following the match, Pochettino said: “I think we are now in a different level with our facilities – with our training ground and our new stadium – and now we need to be at the same level on the pitch.
“That is what the club and our fans deserve. We need to start to create more history for this club.
“Now is only about winning. This is a close of a chapter and we need to open another to try to be sure we are realistic competitors with all the big clubs who are competing for big things.”
Pochettino could barely contain his excitement after watching his side deliver in their first game in their brand new ground.
Fans created an electric atmosphere, but it was tinged with a nervous energy having gone into the game on the back of a five-game winless run.
The relief around the stands when Son and Eriksen found the back of the net was palpable, and Pochettino was happy his side delivered for the supporters who have been made to wait for their big day.
The manager also reserved special praise for chairman Daniel Levy, who he said had ‘made a dream a reality’.
“I am so happy,” Pochettino added.
LIVE ON talkSPORT
talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…
- Southampton vs Liverpool (Friday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Norwich vs QPR (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Huddersfield vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Manchester City vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm)
- Coventry vs Bristol Rovers (Sunday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Watford vs Wolves (Sunday, 4pm) – talkSPORT
“It’s difficult to describe with words how I’m feeling now. I am a lucky man to be here today in this amazing stadium and to be the manager of this amazing club.
“The result was fantastic, the performance was very good and the party was complete.
“The players were focused, of course, but at the same time it was about touching the glory and we touched the glory.
“To be in, I think, the best stadium in the world and play football, you can’t avoid thinking about it and enjoy it.
“But our responsibility was to be focused on the game because we needed that victory, the three points were massive to be in a very good position in the table.
“But at the same time, I repeat, it was about touching the glory for the fans, for the staff and of course for Daniel Levy, who is the architect of this amazing project.
“I want to congratulate him. He made the dream a reality.
“To be part of this amazing day, all I can say is thank you for Daniel and I want to tell everyone I am a very lucky man to be here today.”
Source: Prem News