Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino demands focus after Real Madrid heroics
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 04/11/17 12:52pm
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has demanded his side retain their focus for the Premier League visit of Crystal Palace on Sunday after the Champions League heroics against Real Madrid in midweek.
Two goals from Dele Alli and a third from Christian Eriksen secured a 3-1 win over Real at Wembley on Wednesday night, a result that furthered the club's ambition to enter the upper echelons of European football.
But with Spurs having lost 1-0 at Manchester United in their last Premier League game, a result that was followed by a 3-2 loss at home to rivals West Ham in the Carabao Cup, Pochettino knows they must not take Palace lightly.
"You must be focused and we will use the result to lift us, to boost our confidence," he said. "But we must work hard to get another good result on Sunday.
"It will be difficult. Crystal Palace have a very good team. It is true they struggled a little bit from the start of the season and they changed their manager.
"We know Roy Hodgson, a very good manager. We have a great relationship from when he was with the national team.
"His teams are always very well organised and it will be very tough. It will demand a lot of energy again.
"The challenge is to stay focused and forget the Real Madrid game. After the defeat to Manchester United it is so important to win again in the Premier League.
"It was very painful, the game against Manchester United, to lose in the way we lost."
Alli, Kieran Trippier and Harry Winks featured against Real and all three were named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the high-profile friendlies against Germany and Brazil in November.
Pochettino admitted he was particularly proud of Tripper's journey since he joined Tottenham from Burnley, where he has progressed from understudy to Kyle Walker for club and country to playing against Real Madrid and securing a place in the England squad.
"We are so happy because when he came from Burnley, he was very humble to try and fight for his place on the team," he added.
"After two years, he is playing against Real Madrid in the Champions League and we are so proud."
The Argentine also praised the attitude of midfielder Winks and welcomed the versatility offered by Alli.
The challenge is to stay focused and forget the Real Madrid game. After the defeat to Manchester United it is so important to win again in the Premier League.
"It is up to him now to keep his feet on the grass, his mentality is so important," Pochettino said of 21-year-old Winks.
"Whether he plays against Real Madrid or [for] the U23s, always his mentality is to win. That is so important for him to keep that character in his career."
As for Alli, he added: "He is not a player in a specific position. He is often a midfielder, he is sometimes on the box on the side of the striker and he can drop his position and play deeper.
"It is great to have a player like him who can develop his game in different positions on the pitch."
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