Pochettino: New stadium will make it difficult for opponents
Tottenham beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on their grand opening.
Mauricio Pochettino insists he and his Tottenham players cannot fail to be inspired by the atmosphere inside their new stadium as they marked their opening game with victory over Crystal Palace.
Having initially been due to move in at the start of the season, Spurs finally took to the pitch at their impressive new home.
After an opening ceremony that involved choirs, tenors and fireworks the game itself took a while to spark into life – Son Heung-min writing his name in the history books with the first goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before Christian Eriksen wrapped up a 2-0 win.
While securing victory on their big night was important, the three points also sees Tottenham move into third having picked up their first Premier League win since February 10.
Where other clubs have struggled to adjust to new homes in the past, Pochettino believes his side will not suffer the same fate as they battle for a top-four finish.
“I feel so proud,” he said.
“I am so happy and it is difficult to describe, the emotions and it was very emotional before the start of the game. It was very emotional, all the build-up of the game.
“For sure for the opponent it is going to be difficult. 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.
“That is our second day at the stadium for us and the players but it starts to feel like home, 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.”
Palace never looked like springing a surprise victory to rain on Tottenham’s parade but did frustrate their hosts in the first half.
Eagles boss Roy Hodgson was impressed by the new surroundings but felt his team were not overawed and could have left with something if they had prevented Son scoring 10 minutes after the interval.
“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.
“I thought that if we had just kept that a little bit longer to 0-0 or the 1-0 to just 10 or 15 minutes later, then maybe the last 15 or 20 minutes they would have had a little bit more concern for some of our attacking moves.
“It has obviously been a great evening for them but we certainly played our part; no surrender and didn’t make life easy for them.”