Pochettino will not let condition of Wembley pitch hold back his side
Tottenham will aim to keep their Champions League hopes alive against PSV Eindhoven.
Tottenham will be aiming to keep their Champions League hopes alive against PSV Eindhoven and boss Mauricio Pochettino is not going to let the Wembley pitch get in the way.
Spurs, who have taken just a point at the halfway stage of Group B, have to beat the Dutch Eredivisie leaders to have any realistic chance of getting through to the knockout stages, with games against Inter Milan and Barcelona still to come.
The condition of the playing surface at the national stadium has again dominated the build-up to the game after its shocking state for the clash with Manchester City last Monday, which was played 24 hours after an NFL game.
The pitch was inspected by a Wembley official on Monday afternoon and deemed in good enough condition to allow PSV to train on it, as per Champions League rules.
“I think it’ll improve a little bit – they’re working so hard to improve it,” Pochettino said.
“I saw pictures, I think it’s better. The condition will be the same for both sides. Nothing to complain about.”
Pochettino does not think it would be embarrassing if his side were knocked out at the group stage.
Spurs marketed their qualification for this tournament by saying the only place to see Champions League football in London this season would be in their new stadium.
However, they could have exited before they even have moved in if they do not extend their stay in the competition until after Christmas.
“When you compete at that level against Inter Milan or PSV, of course Barcelona, it is not easy to go to the next stage of the Champions League and qualify,” Pochettino said.
“When you are competitive at that level, if you are not good enough, if you are not clinical or defend poorly like in the last minute in the Inter Milan game. If you don’t deserve to go, it’s disappointing but not embarrassing.
We all feel disappointed because we cannot deliver the possibility of playing the Champions League in our new stadium Maucicio Pochettino
“We all feel disappointed because we cannot deliver the possibility of playing the Champions League in our new stadium, but it wasn’t in our hands, there were many things that complicated it. It is impossible to blame the club.
“If we are able to win tomorrow and have the possibility to go to the next stage maybe we can play in the Champions League in March in the new stadium.”
PSV, who have won 11 of 11 Eredivisie games so far, are locked with Spurs on one point at the halfway stage, drawing their reverse fixture in Eindhoven a fortnight ago.
Both sides can ill-afford anything other than three points, reckons boss Mark van Bommel.
“It won’t be easy game, it is a must-win for Spurs, but if we want to do something we have to win as well,” he said.
“Both teams will want to win so let’s enjoy.
“I played here with Holland against England, we won, that’s a very good memory. It’s the history of football so everybody loves to play at Wembley.”