English Premiership

Spurs aim to make Wembley a fortress

2017-09-15 08:57
Fernando Llorente.(Getty Images)

London - Tottenham Hotspur may have yet to turn their temporary home of Wembley Stadium into a 'fortress' but manager Mauricio Pochettino believes they are heading in the right direction ahead of Saturday's visit by Swansea City.

A 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday saw Pochettino's side off to a perfect start in the Champions League and helped generate the belief that Spurs can now start calling the national stadium "home".

Victory was only the north London club's third in 13 games at Wembley - their temporary headquarters this season while White Hart Lane is redeveloped.

"I hope, I hope (it shuts people up)," said Pochettino after the Dortmund win.

"It can help us to stop the talk about hoodoo and everything that we hear in the last year I think."

Fernando Llorente made his Tottenham debut against German club Dortmund following a £14 million switch from Swansea at the end of the transfer window.

The Spain striker will hope to build on that substitute appearance by featuring against his former team-mates.

Llorente revealed he opted to join Spurs ahead of London rivals Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, because of a deadline day phone call from Pochettino.

'Impressive project'

"The truth is that Chelsea have been after me for a long time but at the end you know how this works," the forward said. "At the very last minute, Pochettino called me and convinced me.

"The Tottenham project is impressive. They have done very well in the last few years, and I think I fit very well with this project. I think I can help them a lot."

The former Athletic Bilbao striker added: "It is clear that Pochettino played a very important role in the decision. I have known him since he was playing in Spain.

"I made my first-team debut against him at San Mames. He was at the end of his playing career and I was at the beginning of mine.

"Then he was the Espanyol manager and I faced him several more times. Now I play under him at Tottenham and I really want to give my best."

Swansea manager Paul Clement insisted he had good reason to hope Llorente is held back in reserve on Saturday.

"I have a good relationship with him and I saw him come on against Dortmund," Clement said.

"It was strange to see him in a Spurs shirt, it was a white kit but not the white of Swansea. I look forward to seeing him, but hopefully he will remain on the bench for the game."

Meanwhile, Clement dismissed claims made in Germany that Renato Sanches was allowed to join Swansea on loan from Bayern Munich because of questions about the midfielder's professionalism.

The Swansea manager worked with the Portugal international for a period of time when he was assistant to Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti before moving to the Liberty Stadium.

And Clement said: "I was there six months, and I can't remember him being late for anything. Whether that happened after or not, I'm not sure. But I haven't seen anything to suggest a problem.

"If he had a bad attitude he would not be here, simple as that. Part of the reason he came here was because I knew him as a player."

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Saturday, 30 September 2017
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 13:30
Stoke City v Southampton, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Swansea City, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Crystal Palace, Old Trafford 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Watford, The Hawthorns 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Manchester City, Stamford Bridge 18:30
Sunday, 01 October 2017
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion, Emirates Stadium 13:00
Everton v Burnley, Goodison Park 15:15
Newcastle United v Liverpool, St. James' Park 17:30
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Liverpool v Manchester United, Anfield 13:30
Manchester City v Stoke City, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Huddersfield Town, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Selhurst Park 16:00
Burnley v West Ham United, Turf Moor 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth, Wembley Stadium 16:00
Watford v Arsenal, Vicarage Road Stadium 18:30
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