Trippier: Tottenham have more game-changers now
PUBLISHED: 22:30 20 April 2018
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Kieran Trippier believes Tottenham have more game-changers on their bench this season than last term and are better-placed to win their FA Cup semi-final.
Spurs reached the last four of the competition in 2017, only to lose 4-2 to Chelsea.
The scores were tied at 2-2 on the hour mark, but Blues manager Antonio Conte brought Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas off the bench, while Pochettino introduced Kyle Walker and latterly Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
The difference was clear and, sure enough, Hazard put Chelsea ahead in the 75th minute before a Nemanja Matic thunderbolt ended Spurs’ hopes of a comeback.
One year on Tottenham are back in the FA Cup semi-finals, facing Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday, and Trippier feels they are in a better position.
“If you look at the squad, we have strength in depth this season,” he said. “We have excellent players on the bench and players who don’t even make the bench.
“That’s how big our squad is and how much quality we have. We have quality to come off the bench to change things in games, and everyone can see that.
“Last season it was disappointing. We had a good opportunity to go to the final. When we got beaten we were all devastated. We learnt from it.
“It’s about seeing games out, the maturity. When they’re on top – other teams will have their 10, 15 or 20-minute spells – it’s about how you manage and control that. It will be a tough game. United have a lot of quality and we need to be ready for that.
“We know how important this game is for the club, the fans, and we’ll go there and try to play like we always do and try to get the win. Everyone is ready for this game and raring to go and play.”
Tottenham won their last clash with Man United back in January, taking the lead inside the opening minute en route to an impressive 2-0 victory.
That match was also played at Wembley – the scene of this weekend’s showdown – as Spurs are using the national stadium for all of their home matches this season.
But Trippier said: “I think it will be a totally different game to that day, when we beat them at Wembley. It’s the semi-final of the cup. They’ll come to Wembley to get the win and so we will, so we need to match them up.
“I don’t think Wembley will be an advantage, if anyone says that, because how many times have Man United played there?
“The pitch size at Wembley is probably the same as Old Trafford so I don’t think there’s any difference. It’s the semi-final and that’s where it’s played. Hopefully we can get the win. We know it’s a massive game. It’s a trophy we want to win.”
United are going through an unpredictable phase, having fought back from 2-0 down to beat Manchester City 3-2 but then lost at home to basement boys West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, before bouncing back and winning 2-0 at Bournemouth on Wednesday night.
But Trippier is expecting Jose Mourinho’s men to be at their best this weekend.
“You can see how much quality they’ve got,” he said. “The game when they got beaten against West Brom, I don’t think we’ll think about that.
“We know they have a good manager and quality players. Against us it will be a good game. We both play attractive football and it will be a good one to watch.”
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