MANCHESTER – Mauricio Pochettino was enjoying himself so much that when Tottenham’s press officer attempted to halt Tuesday night’s news conference, the manager stopped him.
“No, I am comfortable. It’s not too many times you play the quarter-finals – let me enjoy it, please,” he said with a smile.
Tottenham are treating this Champions League tilt as a free hit, but Pochettino revealed that their attitude will change dramatically next season.
He claimed that from August, when Spurs begin the first full campaign in their new £1 billion stadium, they should expect to win trophies and challenge for the biggest honours.
“A chapter is going to be closed and we are going to start another chapter, and we need to translate to our fans what we need to do,” Pochettino said.
“With our new stadium, we need to fight for the Champions League and the Premier League, because we have the tools to be there.
“It is going to be tough to find a way to be on the same level (as Real Madrid and Barcelona). There is a lot of work to be on the level we want.
“If your expectation is to win the league, maybe you need to sign players or have a different budget.
“We are here now because we love to compete and we love to win. If you compare us with another team, we are in a different financial position or had a different strategy over the last four or five years.
“We are achieving a lot, that if you go back, no one would believe. For me, a title with Tottenham is a massive dream.”
Spurs hold a one-goal lead from last week’s absorbing first leg. They must preserve that without the injured Harry Kane, Harry Winks or Eric Dier.
Dele Alli’s hand injury will be assessed.
Hugo Lloris, wary of the attacking threat of a wounded City, urged his team to “use their brains” as they hunt away goals.
“We have to try to enjoy it,” Lloris said. “We’re all excited and ready to fight to make history. It’s important to leave the pitch without regret.
“Our project is clear. Every season we improve. Whatever happens, we can be proud of everything.”
Pressure had not touched Spurs in this competition until Pochettino’s ex-Paris Saint-Germain teammate Ronaldinho claimed yesterday they have the ability to land the trophy.
“Wow,” Pochettino said. “He knows a lot about football and I respect him. Why not? In football, anything can happen. Like in life, you must believe.
“It is good that people like Ronaldinho think we have the quality to win. That increases our belief.
“I learned a lot from him – laughing, smiling, dancing. Football is a sport. If you want to play well, you have to smile.”Daily Mail