Poch: Work like Leo and we can triumph
MAURICIO POCHETTINO has told his Tottenham squad that if they cannot play like Lionel Messi, they should at least work as hard as him. The Spurs manager still cannot explain his side’s sluggish start against Ajax in their 1-0 Champions League semi-final defeat on Tuesday and pointed to the Barcelona star as an example of how to improve. While Messi’s 600 Barcelona goals are an obvious point of aspiration, Pochettino has been more mesmerised by the Argentine’s work off the ball. ‘He’s one of the gods of football,’ said Pochettino after watching Messi score twice in Barcelona’s 3-0 semi-final win against Liverpool. ‘It’s unbelievable, the desire and the capacity to fight with the ball and without the ball. It’s a massive example, how he works for the team. ‘That is why it is so painful to start like we did in the semi-final against Ajax. But if we play like him without the ball, show the desire that he had against Liverpool, we are going to have the chances to qualify for the final. If not, no chance.’ Fulham’s versatile teenager Ryan Sessegnon, 18, has set his sights on joining Tottenham after his side’s relegation from the Premier League.