Big Match

Stadium switch poised to lift Spurs

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino (waving) and chairman Daniel Levy in the stands of the new stadium during the Under-18 Premier League game against Southampton, a test event, last Sunday.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino (waving) and chairman Daniel Levy in the stands of the new stadium during the Under-18 Premier League game against Southampton, a test event, last Sunday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Alli says permanent switch is a 'fillip' for team after recent wobble as they take on Liverpool

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Tottenham's newly opened stadium as "the best in the world" and that "the facilities would convince people to sign for the club".

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash against Liverpool, the Spurs manager cut a delighted figure after months of delays owing to "issues with the critical safety systems".

The club had originally been due to play their first match at their new ground on Sept 15.

He said yesterday: "It is amazing, we can confirm that now. Every space is the best I have seen in my life, you can't compare that with anything. It is going to be fantastic for the future of the club.

"It is going to be a massive boost for our fans and it must be for our players, too. We are still romantic, but not many people are romantic, (though) there are people around who care more about the business than to work in a good place."

While Spurs will play their first game at their refurbished home only on Wednesday in a league meeting with Crystal Palace, Dele Alli believes the permanent switch from Wembley could give his side a fillip as "the change is what we needed at this point of the season".

NEW HOME, NEW HOPE

It's finally come. There were a lot of memories at White Hart Lane.Hopefully, we can make some better ones here.

DELE ALLI, midfielder, on Tottenham's move to their new stadium.

The England midfielder told Sky Sports: "We are all very excited, we've been waiting for this for a long time. It's finally come.

"There were a lot of memories at White Hart Lane. Hopefully, we can make some better ones here. You never know what is going to happen in football, but we definitely feel the club is heading (in the right direction).

"We're getting better as a team and we have to keep doing that. We've got some great young players and an amazing manager.

"We're all enjoying playing together, and we want to try and create history. Hopefully, we can make a positive end (to the term) in this stadium."

But, before Alli and his teammates can aim to christen their new stadium with a victory, they face a daunting task at Anfield, where the table-toppers are unbeaten in the league this season.

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Pochettino will also be without England duo Eric Dier and Harry Winks, and Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier.

Admitting the two-week international break had come at an inopportune time as his side were left stewing over the 2-1 defeat by Southampton on March 9, the Argentinian said: "It's a bad thing because the last feeling is not good.

"Three weeks without competing becomes a little bit boring. But that is the situation, we need to accept it and we cannot change that.

"I'm happy that we are going to compete (on) Sunday and we are going to start a very busy period until the end. I am happy when we are competing."

And, according to former Reds defender Phil Thompson, the fact that Spurs are "in touching distance of the new stadium" could help them buck their poor record on Merseyside - their last league win over Liverpool away was in 2011.

He told Sky: "They will want Champions League football next season, so they will be going all out for it. They have the confidence and ability to give Liverpool a game."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2019, with the headline 'Stadium switch poised to lift Spurs'. Print Edition | Subscribe