Pochettino proud of Tottenham’s fight in spite of adversity

Tottenham Hotspur's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with man

Tottenham Hotspur's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Premier League match against Watford at Wembley Stadium (pic: Mike Egerton/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Argentinian has continued to improve Spurs year on year despite the direct challenge of wealthier rivals

Mauricio Pochettino is proud of the way Spurs continue to impress despite a number of factors going against them.

It has been well-documented Tottenham Hotspur have now gone over a year without any new players joining the club.

Lucas Moura was the most recent back in January 2018 and on top of this, they still call Wembley Stadium ‘home’.

Factor in recent injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli, and Heung-min Son’s absence on a handful of occasions during the season, it shows Spurs are having another fine campaign with the club still in the title race and also in Europe approaching the end of February.

Pochettino is delighted, he said: “I laugh a little because I think it’s good, because the expectation when the people watch Tottenham is not only to win, but to perform like the dream team of Barcelona with (Johan) Cruyff or Milan of Arrigo Sacchi.

“That is very good and I think we feel proud if people expect our performance should be in this way.

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“I think sometimes people underestimate us. We play much better than sometimes people assess us, but you cannot fight with the perception of the people.

“I’m happy with the performance, with all the circumstances we have again and many things that happened, but the team is there. The team is fighting and getting results.

“I feel so proud of that because I promise you, my players are heroes, whatever happens. I told you the same a few weeks ago, last week and now again, they deserve full credit and a lot of praise because the effort they are doing this season is amazing.”

Pochettino was speaking to the media after the 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, February 13.

Tottenham produced a great display, especially following half time to take a healthy advantage back to Germany for the round of 16 second leg.

Heung-min Son grabbed the opener in the 47th minute and Jan Vertonghen capped a top showing at left-back with an 83rd-minute - after assisting the first for the hosts.

Fernando Llorente wrapped up the scoring with a third in the 86th minute just moments after he was introduced as a substitute.

It was another memorable evening in the Champions League and puts Spurs on the verge of the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011.

The 46-year-old knows Tottenham have not achieved anything yet though, he said: “For me, of course I’m happy. I want to congratulate the players one more time on a massive, massive performance and effort.

“It’s only the first leg, only the first half of the tie and of course 3-0 is a very good result, but when you have in front a team like Borussia Dortmund I think you always need to respect them.

“We need to think that we need to go to Dortmund with the idea to win. Of course we’re happy now and it was a very good result, but there’s a lot of work still to do.”