Belfast Telegraph

It’s starting to feel like home: Pochettino hails win at new stadium

Spurs beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in their majestic new home.

Son Heung-min scored the first competitive goal at the new stadium (Nick Potts/PA)
Son Heung-min scored the first competitive goal at the new stadium (Nick Potts/PA)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says the club have been vindicated in their decision to move into their new stadium this season after they enjoyed a historic homecoming.

Spurs finally got to play in their majestic new home eight months later than originally planned and they produced the perfect housewarming gift as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0.

Son Heung-min created a slice of history with the first competitive goal at the stadium, with Christian Eriksen adding a second late on to help Spurs to a first win in six Premier League games.

It was a battle for the club to make it in to their new home this season, amid a seemingly never-ending run of delays, and some people suggested they should have waited until next year to move in.

But Pochettino was the biggest cheerleader for playing there as soon as possible and knows after just one game that it was the right decision.

“That is our second day at the stadium for us and the players but it starts to feel like home,” he said.

“It is going to be such an important place for the future and of course I think we were right to move here.

“With all the risk, of course, but I think in football if you want to achieve important things you need to be brave and we were brave moving and starting to play this season.”

It is going to be such an important place for the future

The timing of it could not be better as Pochettino’s men were on a five-game winless run that threatened to cripple their top-four hopes.

But the three points moved them back up to third and with four of their last six games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Pochettino hopes it can help his side over the line.

“For sure for the opponent it is going to be difficult,” he added.

“If like me I am the manager of Tottenham or I am playing for Tottenham, you adapt so quickly in this atmosphere and I think it was amazing.

“It is impossible not to be affected by your fans, the energy and emotion to be there and run, shoot, save and tackle.

“If you are not motivated to play in this type of atmosphere something wrong happened in your head. For sure it is going to be tough for the opponent.”

Palace never threatened to ruin Tottenham’s grand opening and boss Roy Hodgson was impressed with the new surroundings.

“It is outstanding,” he said.

“I can understand why there has been so much hype around it – they must be extremely proud to have created a stadium like this for their team to perform in.”

PA

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