UCL PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur vs Inter Milan

Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by PA

UCL PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur vs Inter Milan

Mauricio Pochettino believes Juan Foyth’s ineligibility for Tottenham’s Champions League campaign shows they cannot afford to repeat the “painful mistakes” of his side’s summer transfer activity.

The Argentinian has forced his way into Pochettino’s side in recent weeks, starting the last three Premier League games, but will miss the crunch Champions League clash with Inter Milan on Wednesday as he is not included in the club’s 25-man squad.

The 20-year-old defender was omitted from the list as Spurs have 20 “non-locally trained” players in their squad and are only allowed to name 17, so he was one to be sacrificed.

Spurs’ inability to move any of their foreign players out in turn meant they had to target homegrown talent, which saw them become the first team in Premier League history not to sign anyone during the summer transfer window.

Pochettino said: “I’m so disappointed from the beginning because it’s not only him but Georges-Kevin N’Koudou and Vincent Janssen are out of the squad in the Champions League and that’s so painful.

“It’s so painful. It’s a mistake that we made that at this level of football we cannot repeat again. For different reasons we need to find solutions before the start of the season.

“I was so disappointed because the squad was so big and when the people say, ‘You’re the only club that doesn’t sign any players’, to sign another player means to put another player out of the list for the Champions League.

“I told you we need English players, but it was impossible. Of course now that is the problem and it’s so painful to have players out of the list.

“Now we’re going to finish [the group stage] and then we hope in March we can do a new list and include him in the list for the Champions League.”

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti says his players are prepared to “sweat blood” in their quest to reach the knockout stages.

If Inter avoid defeat they will reach the last 16 of a tournament they are playing in for the first time since 2012.

“For years the Inter family have been waiting to play these games,” the Italian said. “It is fundamental for our fans, it is really important and that means we are prepared to give absolute everything.

“The possibility of going through to the knockout stage is very real but it is still something we are going to have to sweat blood to achieve.

“There is still a lot at stake, definitely given the group of players I have I know we have a good possibility of going through.

“I know we are capable of playing against any team and achieve a good result.

“We have to see it as a knockout game because if we don’t get the result we need, we might not be the master of our destinies in the last group game and we don’t want that.

“We need to earn qualification, we don’t have any advantage whatsoever.”

Spalletti believes that he is coming up against one of the best managers in Europe in the shape of Mauricio Pochettino.

“Pochettino is a very good coach, one of the greats,” Spalletti added. “Tactically and technically we see his team play, his team changes line-up and system and you can see the hand of the coach behind the changes, one who knows his work.

“You can see also from a psychological point of view he is really strong and that is an important quality.”

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