Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven - Pochettino: No shame in going out of the UCL at group stage

Posted Tuesday, November 06, 2018 by PA

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven - Pochettino: No shame in going out of the UCL at group stage

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino does not think it would be embarrassing if his side were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage.

Spurs realistically have to beat PSV at Wembley on Tuesday if they are to have any chance of extending their stay in the competition until after Christmas, with games against Inter Milan and Barcelona still to come.

They have managed just one point at the halfway point of the group stage and that came in Eindhoven in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago.

Spurs marketed their qualification for this tournament by saying the only place to see Champions League football in London this season would be in their new stadium.

However, they could have exited before they even have moved in if they do not advance from the group stages.

“When you compete at that level against Inter Milan or PSV, of course Barcelona, it is not easy to go to the next stage of the Champions League and qualify,” he said.

“When you are competitive at that level, if you are not good enough, if you are not clinical or defend poorly like in the last minute in the Inter Milan game.

“If you don’t deserve to go, it’s disappointing but not embarrassing.

“We all feel disappointed because we cannot deliver the possibility of playing the Champions League in our new stadium, but it wasn’t in our hands, there were many things that complicated it. It is impossible to blame the club.

“If we are able to win tomorrow and have the possibility to go to the next stage maybe we can play in the Champions League in March in the new stadium.”

Spurs have injury concerns for the game with Mousa Dembele the latest victim following his ankle injury at Wolves on Saturday.

The Belgium midfielder will have a scan on Monday when the extent of the injury should become clearer.

“We need to wait today until after the scan to have a better idea,” the Argentinian added.

“The most important thing is he didn’t suffer an injury to his bone and that is good.

“Maybe his ligament is damaged but we need to know, after the scan we will know better.”

Dembele joins Eric Dier (thigh), Victor Wanyama (knee), Danny Rose (groin) and Jan Vertonghen (hamstring) on the injury list, while Hugo Lloris is suspended following his red card in Eindhoven.

Tottenham’s Champions League game with PSV will definitely be played at Wembley, UEFA has confirmed.

A UEFA statement read: “The pitch assessment conducted today was not a UEFA one, but a standard type of visit and quality measurement that the Wembley Stadium management does before every match.

“We can confirm that the media activities planned for today, as well as the game itself, will take place as scheduled.”

Mark van Bommel will not allow his PSV side to use the poor condition of the Wembley pitch as an excuse in their Champions League clash with Tottenham.

“I saw the pitch on pictures but it doesn’t matter, just like in Holland you have to prepare and you know where you are going,” he said. “In Holland we have some artificial pitches.

“If you are thinking about the pitch then it is not good. You have to prepare and that is it. You cannot complain, you cannot change the situation.

“Every team has some weak spots, but you saw the game in Eindhoven, they played really well all over the pitch,” he said.

“It won’t be easy game, it is a must-win for Spurs, but if we want to do something we have to win as well.

“Both teams will want to win so let’s enjoy.”

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