Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino wants his team to stretch beyond their limits to reach the next level after winning their Champions League round of 16 tie against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. The Lilywhites hammered Dortmund 3-0 at the Wembley Stadium in the first leg and came back to defeat them again in the Signal Iduna Park 0-1 to win the tie with a 4-0 aggregate. The solitary goal of the 0-1 win was scored by talisman Harry Kane.
The result ensures Tottenham’s progress into the last eight of the Champions League this season for the first time since 2011 in their history, to which Pochettino lauded his players as a massive achievement for the club as a whole.
However, the Spurs spoke to Sky Sports: “To move to the next level or the last level is not only to show a professional display like we did, we need to do more, to be in different positions.”
“Of course it is so important to be in the quarter-finals but in the end you need to show more to be on the next level and to stay there.”
“To build that possibility to be on the same level as the clubs we are talking out you need to start on the first step always, and I do not know if we are in the middle or at 70 per cent of moving forward.
The Argentinian tactician feels that though his team is in the top eight this season, the players must not stop here and strive for more to reach the next level in Europe.
I do not know the gap we need to achieve but we are working hard to be there one day. The stadium will be such an important step for the club to try to be in a good position in the future.”
Pochettino also expects the Lillywhites to play their Quarterfinal home leg at their new stadium, which has seen its fair share of delays over the course of this season.
“I expect to play at the new stadium. We were talking yesterday with Daniel [Levy, Spurs chairman] and he was very positive. My wish is to play there.”
Before the game, we were sitting and listening to the Champions League song and we were talking and saying it will be amazing to be in the new stadium listening to that song. Now we are in the quarter-finals, we hope we can finish and listen to the song there.”
Spurs have been suffering from a lot of issues starting from their long injury lists, bad scheduling of matches especially prior to Champions League fixtures, stadium opening delays and even lack of transfer for over a year. Yet they stand in this position, having progressed to the quarterfinals of the Champions League is admirable.
The Premier League side had a handsome lead to take to Germany and all they had to do was to withstand the early pressure that came from Lucien Favre’s men and it was sheer resilience from Lloris and fellow defenders until Kane came up with the winner.
“I feel very proud. I am more than happy for our players, the effort was brilliant, playing with much disadvantage with the first leg at Wembley and tonight I think it was an unbelievable effort. I want to congratulate my players, I am very proud for our fans and the club.
English clubs have done really well in Europe’s top cup competition this season, as all four of them have made it to the quarter final stages. They are all playing well, at least in the Champions League and will consider themselves favourites to win the whole thing, if they can be consistent now.
Last year Liverpool made it to the final of the tournament where they were beaten by three-time consecutive winners Real Madrid. However, with Los Blancos out of the competition this time already, things can be really different and the crowning of a new champion is inevitable.
With that being said, this tie between the two teams will be really crucial with respect to both the title race and the ambitions of the top teams in securing a top four spot. It will be a game of high expectations for the fans and it will be interesting to see what happens now.