Pochettino pitches in with an apology to Rochdale

Sheri Evans
February 17, 2018

Rochdale's relaid pitch is like a "snooker table" ahead of their FA Cup clash with Tottenham, according to chairman Chris Dunphy.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says his side must put the FA Cup on the back-burner and concentrate on Premier League and European glory.

"This is a different game, a different competition and it will be tough", he said.

The Dale have suffered heavily as league games were cancelled due to the pitch being unfit to play on, leaving them with four games in hand on their relegation rivals.

"We are not anxious [about him facing Crystal Palace on February 26] but we need to take care".

The League One club were forced to put down the new playing surface as the pitch was devoid of grass in recent weeks.

"After he twist his ankle, he received some knocks [against Juventus]".

Liverpool and Spurs won just one League Cup each in the past decade
Liverpool and Spurs won just one League Cup each in the past decade

"Maybe he has the possibility to start, if not 100 per cent and there's not the possibility to play 90 minutes, then to be on the bench, or if we see that he's not capable of half an hour or 20 minutes then to stay here".

While one of the reasons for an experimental side is the busy schedule, the other is that the full squad need to be involved because football is a collective game, according to Pochettino. The pressure is to win the Champions League and also the Premier League.

Lucas Moura left Paris Saint-Germain to pen a long-term deal with Spurs during the January transfer window but he's only been used as a last-minute substitute in the Champions League encounter with Juventus. "I love how he played with passion and energy".

They showed me a picture from after the Millwall replay and it wasn't in a great condition and of course I was conscious of the FA Cup, the football and the image we're going to send.

"I thought we were going have a good old gritty cup tie and then Rochdale chose to put down a new pitch".

"I hear a lot about winning trophies and in the last 10 years there has been a lot of examples with coaches who win trophies like the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and yet six months after they were sacked", Pochettino said.

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