LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino has challenged Tottenham to show a more ruthless touch, as they look to keep their Premier League title hopes alive with a win against West Bromwich Albion today.
The manager admitted that his team, who lost to Arsenal last weekend but then beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, have found it difficult to see off supposedly inferior opponents at Wembley this season.
Spurs dropped points in home draws with Burnley and Swansea before managing only 1-0 successes against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace at the national stadium, their temporary home this term.
Now West Brom, who sacked manager Tony Pulis following a run of just two wins in 21 league games, will surely try to frustrate the hosts once again.
"It's true we've struggled a little bit with teams that come to Wembley and play deeper," Pochettino said.
"We need to improve our positional game in (the) last third in the opposition half.
"Sometimes we need to show more patience to build our options to create chances."
West Brom had proved to be problematic opponents. Spurs won this fixture 4-0 last season but the nine games before that saw them come up tops just twice, with six draws and one defeat.
West Brom had been a physical unit under Pulis, and Pochettino is not expecting anything different now that caretaker Gary Megson is picking the team.
"They work very hard on set-pieces, they're very dangerous. We need to work hard," he said. "We need to be aggressive with and without the ball.
"We need to play the game in a way that can benefit our interests."
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
West Ham v Leicester City
Man United v Brighton
Ch102 & Ch227, 11pm
Tottenham v West Brom
Ch103 & Ch228, 10.50pm
Newcastle v Watford
Ch104 & Ch229, 10.50pm
Swansea v Bournemouth
Ch105 & Ch230, 10.50pm
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Ch106 & Ch231, 10.50pm
Liverpool v Chelsea
Ch102 & Ch227, tomorrow, 1.30am
Southampton v Everton
Ch102 & Ch227, 9.30pm
Huddersfield v Man City
Ch102 & Ch227, 11.55pm.
Burnley v Arsenal
Ch103 & Ch228, 9.50pm
All on Singtel TV & StarHub
Off the pitch, he has also played down talk of a rift between himself and full-back Danny Rose after the England international was left out of last week's north London derby against Arsenal.
Asked to comment on reports that Rose was "fuming" about his omission, he said that the 27-year-old had not been happy but had accepted the decision.
"The day before we had a conversation and he never showed me that he was angry," he said.
"Of course, disappointed, yes, because all the players always want to be involved in the game.
"I like it when players feel that emotion because it looks like they're interested in helping the team and want to play."
Pochettino's fellow Argentinian and Spurs forward Erik Lamela could make his return today, after more than a year out with a hip injury.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS