Mauricio Pochettino ready for ‘toughest challenge’ of Tottenham careerMauricio Pochettino wants to be on ‘the frontline’ with Spurs.
Mauricio Pochettino says he knew this season would be the “toughest challenge” of his Tottenham career but was determined to take it on out of a sense of gratitude to the club.
Pochettino turned down the advances of Real Madrid this summer to sign a new contract with Spurs. In the past week, however, the club have emerged from the transfer window empty-handed and postponed the opening of their new £850m stadium.
The Argentinian said he had no regrets about his decision and insisted he wants to be on “the frontline” as Spurs try to win their first trophy in his four-year period as manager. “For me it will be the toughest season and I think if we want success we have to give more than our best,” he said. “It’s not enough to give 100%, it’s 200%.
“We know from inside that it will be hard and, because we are warriors, we want to fight. We want to be proud at the end, we want success and we do not want to complain or make excuses. I am a winner and I love the challenge. We want to go again.”
The manager apologised to fans for the current uncertainty after the new White Hart Lane was found to have problems with its “critical safety systems”. Spurs will play Fulham at Wembley on Saturday and Pochettino said: “I think we all feel disappointed with the announcement from the club this week. I want to say thank you to the fans and apologise and try to reward them by winning games.
“I want to be there, in the frontline, fighting. I feel the responsibility and that is why I am here. I am very grateful to Daniel Levy. I think Tottenham gave us, me, my family and my staff, a lot of things that always we will be grateful for. This was a moment to say ‘we are going to be with you all’, because we knew what was going to happen.”
Spurs have agreed to play three Premier League fixtures at Wembley this season, but an opening date for the new White Hart Lane is still unclear with the location of the 28 October clash with Manchester City listed as “TBC” by the club. This match cannot be played at Wembley on that date because of a pre-arranged NFL fixture and Premier League rules prevent any team from using three stadiums as their home ground in a given season.
Pochettino said he wanted the City game to be played at Wembley if White Hart Lane was not ready and would even be willing to play the day after the NFL match. “At the moment I cannot say we are going to play this game at our new stadium. If you ask me, if we can’t play there we need to find a way to play at Wembley. Maybe we need to adapt. The day after the NFL game maybe the pitch is not in the best condition but we need to make the effort and to play.”