Mauricio Pochettino ready to begin new Tottenham chapter
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 02/04/19 3:50pm
Mauricio Pochettino believes it is time for Tottenham to begin a new chapter and "operate in a different way" after finally moving into their new stadium.
After a drawn-out construction process, Spurs will play their first match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when they host Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Pochettino sees it as a pivotal moment in the club's 136-year history.
"I think it is going to be very special," Pochettino said. "The new stadium is a reality. It's an exciting moment in the history of the club. Everyone is going to realise the magnitude of the project.
"It is amazing, an exciting moment and a special moment for (chairman) Daniel Levy. He started the idea and delivered the project."
Tottenham will be looking to bounce back on Wednesday from their disappointing defeat to Liverpool last weekend, when with the game tied at 1-1, they spurned a number of opportunities to score, and eventually lost through Toby Alderweireld's last-gasp own goal, which came after an error from captain Hugo Lloris.
That result allowed Arsenal to leapfrog Spurs into third place by beating Newcastle on Monday night.
Spurs are now level on points with Manchester United, though they boast a superior goal difference, and just one point ahead of Chelsea.
All four teams have their sights set on a lucrative spot in the top four, but Pochettino believes the fact Spurs play five of their final seven games at their new stadium could prove to be a decisive advantage.
"Of course the best stadium in the world should have the Champions League. It would be a shame to not be in the next Champions League," Pochettino said.
"This type of project is a project to be one of the best clubs in the world but of course you need time.
"Of course we are going to fight. We are in the top four. We are disappointed in the last result but against Liverpool we deserved more. I thought we played really well. In the second half we felt good. If we play like that I don't doubt we are going to be in the top four.
"It is in our hands. It is a mini-league - seven games with five in our new stadium. That will be a big boost for our players and for our fans. It is up to us to achieve that."
If Spurs do finish in the top four, they will qualify for the Champions League for a fourth consecutive season under Pochettino.
The Argentine has put them in a position to do so again this season despite not signing a player over the past two windows, as Spurs have been forced to limit spending due to the cost of building their new stadium.
Pochettino made it clear he hopes to receive the backing he needs this summer to turn Spurs into true contenders for the Premier League and the Champions League, now that the club have finally realised their dream of moving into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
"It is so important for the club to have another chapter, to close this chapter and start a new project," Pochettino said.
"A new project means to start to talk in a different way and to operate in a different way.
"I think everyone helped to achieve what we wanted to achieve in the end, being very competitive and very aggressive in the way that we play.
"I think we understand what the club needs from us. This stadium is here so you can fight every season in the Champions League, every season being real contenders and every season fighting for big things.
"This is my idea. After we will see if we can deliver it but that is what this club deserves."