OLYMPIAKOS V TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Manager Mauricio Pochettino says he thought about Tottenham’s ‘painful’ Champions League final defeat ‘a lot’ during the summer as they prepare for their opening game of this year’s competition.

Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool in their first Champions League final in June.

They begin their new European campaign against Greek side Olympiakos in Piraeus on Wednesday (17:55 BST).

“It was a long period after the final in Madrid,” said Pochettino.

“Being honest I was thinking a lot during the summer. To finish losing the final is always so painful because you can’t put out the feeling and you need to wait to start again to repair the damage.

“It’s exciting to start a new campaign and here in Greece. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere as well.”

 

Pochettino has played down Tottenham’s chances of repeating last season’s Champions League run, which included a dramatic semi-final second leg victory away at Ajax.

He also says the club need to learn lessons from the poor start in the group stage last season, where they took just one point from their opening three matches.

“No-one today is thinking or giving us chance to be a contender to be in the final in Istanbul this season,” added the Argentine, who will take charge of his 50th European game for Tottenham in Greece.

“But that is normal. That makes it again very exciting, our run in the Champions League.

“We know we have to start by winning. However, you can talk but tomorrow you need to show your quality. We need to show we have learned from the past.”

Trio again miss out for Spurs

Defenders Danny Rose and Serge Aurier have been rested and did not travel with the squad, with Pochettino saying he will make changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace 4-0 last weekend.

Ryan Sessegnon also did not travel after reporting irritation with a previous hamstring strain while fellow summer signing Giovani Lo Celso is out until at least the end of October with a hip injury.

Juan Foyth is back in training after an ankle problem but is not expected to return to first-team action for another few weeks.

Leave a comment

comments