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Capital One Cup glory spurring players on: Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur 4 Newcastle United 0

By Simon Peach

Tottenham put in one of the best performances of Mauricio Pochettino's reign as progress to the Capital One Cup semi-finals was secured in style.

The former Argentina defender's start to life in north London has not been without its teething problems, but things appear to now be moving in the right direction.

Spurs have taken 10 points from a possible 15 in the Premier League and last night secured a Capital One Cup semi-final against Sheffield United by thrashing Newcastle.

Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado all scored in a 4-0 victory which puts them within a two-legged semi-final of Wembley.

"It was fantastic," Spurs head coach Pochettino said. "It was a fantastic night, a very good performance from the team.

"I am very happy because I think tonight was the first time that there was the relation between the team and supporters.

"It was brilliant at White Hart Lane and I enjoyed it a lot."

Asked if this was the best Spurs display since he took charge in the summer, Pochettino said: "I don't know but maybe. Maybe.

"I think some games we played very well but this result was important for us.

"It has home, it is in front of our supporters and we go to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.

"We know Tottenham have a lot of tradition in the cups and I think this victory is very important for us."

This felt like a turning point for Spurs, having struggled at home this campaign - a welcome boost ahead of Burnley's arrival on Saturday.

A clash against Fiorentina awaits at the last-32 juncture in the Europa League, although the draw has been kinder domestically having been pitted against Sheffield United.

The Blades lie fifth in League One but Pochettino will not be taking them lightly, especially having seen former club Southampton become the fourth Premier League team this year to go out of cup competitions to them.

"I think that we need to have full respect for Sheffield United," Pochettino said. "It is a team from League One but they deserved to stay on to the semi-final. Yesterday we watched the game and they fully deserved to stay in the semi-final.

"We fully respect them and in football you never know. We need to be careful, be ready and always alive in every game. It is not an easy game."

This was not Newcastle's ideal preparation for the derby against Sunderland on Sunday.

"If ever the cliche of goals changing games was relevant, this was it," United manager Alan Pardew said.

WORCESTER'S FA Cup heroics came to an end last night, the Conference North side going down 14-13 on penalties to League Two Scunthorpe after a 1-1 draw at Kidderminster's Aggborough.

It was the most penalties ever scored in an FA Cup tie. Worcester had triumphed 2-1 at 1987 winners Coventry City in the first round. Mark Robins' Scunthorpe play either MK Dons or Chesterfield.

REAL Madrid will take on San Lorenzo in Saturday's World Club Final in Morocco after the Argentinians beat Auckland City 2-1.

Belfast Telegraph


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