Mauricio Pochettino has briefed the media ahead of Tottenham’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Saturday.
Spurs won 2-0 in the Premier League when the sides met at Wembley back in January, and the Londoners will be hoping for a repeat of that result at their adopted home.
A number of topics were on the agenda at the agenda at the press conference. Here are three things we learned.
Danny Rose in unavailable
Rose probably would have played against Brighton on Tuesday had he not suffered a calf injury prior to the game.
That would have ensured Ben Davies was fully fresh for the semi-final. Unfortunately that isn’t the case – Davies will definitely start on Saturday with Rose a confirmed absentee.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 19, 2018
The Welshman played the full match against Brighton. Hopefully he has enough fuel in the tank to play what is certain to be a high intensity game against United.
Spurs are unlikely to start Alderweireld AND Sanchez
Toby Alderweireld made his first league start since October against Brighton, leading to calls for him to stay in the team for the semi-final.
However, when the possiblity of a tactical change to three at the back came up – a system that would allow Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez to start – Pochettino was coy.
Asked if he will try three at the back, Pochettino said: “It’s one of the options. I think after 14 games unbeaten in the Premier League, using a similar system, I think it’s not a point to change.” (Via @BenPearceSpurs.)
“But I’m so flexible,” he added. “We’ll see what happens on Saturday. It’s one more idea or way to play.”
It doesn’t sound very likely to me.
Pochettino still doesn’t hold the FA Cup in high regard
Tottenham haven’t won the FA Cup since 1991, and many Spurs fans have been critical of Pochettino’s attitude towards the domestic trophies.
The Argentinian’s feelings towards the FA Cup haven’t changed, although he admits winning the competition would be a “fantastic” way to finish the season.
“It’s fantastic if Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham will win the FA Cup,” he said (via ESPN).
“Is it going to change our life? I don’t believe so, I don’t believe. Who needs it more, I don’t know. We are going to try and fight to win, but it is not about need or not need, it’s about a title that would be fantastic to finish the season, play in the final and win trophy.
“At the end it would be fantastic the finish the season with a trophy but I don’t think it’s about need or not need.”