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Spurs manager Pochettino: "I'm happy to lose in that way"

THINKING TIME: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino

SETTLING IN. A period which inevitably comes whenever a move takes place, and how long that settling in period will be, one never really knows until you get to be familiar with your new surroundings, the fixtures and fittings and how accommodating you can be to those who come visiting.

Spurs have had to endure a very challenging settling in period at Wembley, their new home for the 2017-18 season as White Hart Lane transforms to a modern facility. Eleven games, just the two victories and a first home loss at their temporary new home Wembley stadium suggests that Spurs are still settling in.

Just as they did in their FA Cup semi-final Wembley clash with Chelsea, the Lillywhites dominated proceedings, only for the Blues to come away with the spoils.

Marco Alonso's brace was answered by a Michy Batshuayi own goal, with Harry Kane and Willian rattling the same upright in a high energy game.

Mauricio Pochettino dismissed suggestions that playing at Wembley is a disadvantage for his side.

“It doesn’t affect me. I understand that we need to talk, everyone needs to talk, but I think the Wembley effect is not the reason we lost the game. The team played really well. It’s not fair to blame Wembley. For me, Wembley is one of the best places in the world to play football. And today it was clear: if you love football and watch football, and watch the game again, you will see that Wembley was not the problem.


“Today was not about the tactics. We were much better than Chelsea and we were a little bit unlucky. So I’m not sad or frustrated. I’m ‘happy’ to lose in that way. We played better and created chances to score. But that’s football. We have to accept they were more clinical than us in front of goal."

He knows all to well that being "happy to lose in that way," could set a dangerous precedent for his team, and if losing becomes a habit, then visiting teams will relish their encounters on the big Wembley pitch.

Chelsea too have had their misfortunes at Wembley, but after the FA Cup and Community Shield losses to Arsenal, the Italian enjoyed a winning return to Wembley.

“I want to thank every one of my players,” said the Italian, who had to do without the suspended Gary Cahill and Cesc Fàbregas and the injured Eden Hazard with Diego Costa, AWOL in Brazil.

“They showed me great desire, great spirit, great will, great heart, great will to fight. I saw fighters in a moment that’s not easy for us with the suspensions and the injuries. We suffered during the game, but we were always dangerous in every moment."

Conte acknowledged that visiting teams will enjoy playing at Spurs temporary home, and will raise their game on the big stage, as Chelsea did here to bounce back from their shock opening day home loss to Burnley.


“We know very well that a lot of teams improved if you compare with last season. But we have to concentrate on ourselves. It’s not important if we are not favourites in this league. It was the same last season. We know we are trying to improve our team, our squad, and the club is trying to do its best in the transfer market to try and improve the team and the squad. But I repeat, I’m very happy when I see this type of game. I’m not speaking about football, but this spirit, this heart, this desire," said Conte.

Pochettino will hope that Spurs can settle in sooner, and start to register the home wins which became the foundation for last season's title challenge.

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