Champions League

Spurs earning respect in Europe, says Pochettino

2018-03-06 21:23
Mauricio Pochettino (Getty Images)

London - Mauricio Pochettino says his "brave" Tottenham side are ready to take another major step in Europe as they prepare to battle Juventus for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Spurs host the Italian champions in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie at Wembley on Wednesday after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg in Turin.

Pochettino, whose side beat Real Madrid in the group stages, said his players were in a good frame of mind ahead of the match.

"It's been step by step, a little step every season," said the Spurs boss. "You can see the team is more mature. We are going to enjoy tomorrow.

"We know very well we are playing one of the best teams in Europe but we are a brave team and we are very positive people.

"We need to think that we can win, we always think in this way. If we are able to play in the way we normally do then we will be close to winning."

The Spurs boss said Tottenham were making Europe sit up and take notice of them.

"They respect the philosophy we build and the football we play," he said. "We feel we have respect for the brand of football we show, they respect us in Europe we feel."

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris knows a clean sheet will be enough to send Tottenham through to the last eight.

"We expect a tough game," he said. "It will demand a lot of thought and energy. It's the best way to enjoy this competition.

"If you don't think too much, and look for a draw, especially against an experienced team like Juve, you could be in trouble.

"I feel the club and team is growing stronger every season. Most of the players have been here for two, three or four years together."

Toby Alderweireld will miss the Wembley showdown due to his hamstring problem while fellow defender Serge Aurier is suspended.

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