Daily Mail


Pochettino: Spurs won’t falter again


JIMMY GREAVES, still Europe’s greatest goalscorer, made a nostalgic trip to White Hart Lane yesterday for a last look before the stadium that saw his best days faces demolition. The 77-year-old, who scored 266 of his record 366 club goals for Tottenham, was pictured with his family as he continues his recovery from a life-threatenin­g stroke in 2015.

TOTTENHAM have learned their lessons and will not fall away as dramatical­ly as they did towards the end of last season, insists manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham travel to Burnley today and Pochettino is aware that his side’s physical and mental strength will be tested against the side with the sixth best home record in the Premier League.

Asked whether Spurs are shedding their flaky reputation, Pochettino said: ‘I think you know better than me about the history. Now the challenge is to keep fighting until the end.

‘Last year, we thought too much about the summer, the Euros and we lost a little bit of focus. Now the focus is to keep fighting.

‘The difference you can make is in your head. If you are not ready in your mind to compete, then it’s impossible.

‘You can play all the nice football and tiki-taka, but in the Premier League sometimes you must fight to win. I have tried to convince them football is not only when you have the ball. When you don’t have the ball, it is football too.

‘To fight, to press, to challenge with your opponent. We need to be aggressive and proactive. That is how we are in training, every single exercise or drill is about playing football, but fighting too, when you don’t have the ball.’

Pochettino’s sessions are famously intense and the manager even competes in some drills.

He recently went off hobbling after a robust challenge by his young defender Cameron Carter-Vickers. ‘Again today!’ he laughed. ‘Today I challenged with Cameron and my hand was in pain… it happened again. He crushes everyone in the box.’

Pochettino went on to liken midfielder Mousa Dembele to former team-mate Diego Maradona.

Statistics this week revealed that the 29-year- old’s passing accuracy this season has been 91 per cent. He has an 86 per cent dribbling success rate too.

Pochettino said: ‘Dembele is completely different to two-anda-half years ago when we arrived. I must give all credit to Jesus Perez, and all the medical staff to create now a Mousa Dembele who is strong and can play. I always say, “Moussa, in my book, you will be one of my genius players that I have been lucky to meet”.

‘Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, Jay- Jay Okocha, Ivan de la Pena and... Mousa Dembele. We always told him, “If we had taken you at 18 you would have become one of the best players in the world”.’

 ??  ?? Greaves: Earned his spurs
Greaves: Earned his spurs
 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Nostalgia: Jimmy Greaves visited Spurs yesterday and saw old pictures like this one of himself (right) on the wall of fame
GETTY IMAGES Nostalgia: Jimmy Greaves visited Spurs yesterday and saw old pictures like this one of himself (right) on the wall of fame

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