Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino held his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s FA Cup tie yesterday and was open about his players’ need to be on their game.
Tottenham eventually reached the FA Cup semi-final last season before being beaten by Manchester United. But it wasn’t all plane sailing.
Spurs came up against three Football League teams, and while AFC Wimbledon were dispatched comfortably, the same couldn’t be said for Rochdale and Newport. Both of those teams held Spurs at home to earn replays at Wembley Stadium, although Pochettino eventually led Spurs through on each occasion.
The Argentine will be keen for his team to avoid any repeat of those draws at Prenton Park tomorrow night as they face up to a busy fixture list. Tottenham face Chelsea next week in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Speaking about the Tranmere game, Pochettino said: “Anything can happen and that’s why we know very well that it’s going to be a tough game against Tranmere.
“Last season against Newport and Rochdale, we needed replays at Wembley and those games were so tough. That happens in this competition, the FA Cup. That is why people say it’s magic and after six years in England, I understand why.
“We need to be competitive, thinking that we came from a very tough period too and we need to try to pick the best starting 11 to be fresh and compete at our best.
“We are going to give rest to some players who need to rest, that’s the plan, because to play four games in 10 days is so difficult and we need to manage some players who have played a lot. This is a game to be right in how we’re going to mix the players to keep our level and perform in the way we want.”