Pain of defeat in Wembley final can inspire Spurs - Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino hopes that the image of Chelsea lifting the League Cup at Wembley seven months ago is still burnt into the memory of his players.
Tottenham start their new League Cup campaign tonight when they take on Arsenal at White Hart Lane. It is a game which needs no extra motivation, but Pochettino believes his young team have learnt from the disappointment of last spring and can use that tonight and for the rest of the season.
"It is important to show respect," Pochettino said yesterday, explaining why he made his team watch Chelsea's celebrations.
"When you lose it is a good lesson to stay to see the trophy. You know that you had the possibility 90 minutes before to take the trophy. You can always learn from the defeat and this is the feeling you don't want to repeat again. It is a good lesson for us."
No game is more important to Spurs than taking on Arsenal and when they last met, in February, Harry Kane scored twice to give his team a 2-1 win.
Pochettino would not be drawn into comparisons with Arsenal - although after consecutive defeats it is surely a good time to play them - but agreed that beating them always has a "massive effect" on players and fans.
"It's very important to win the game, because it's a special game," said Pochettino, who knows a thing or two about derbies.
"Beat Arsenal and it is a big impact for us. And after, we need to follow because it's Manchester City, Monaco and Swansea. But it's true that this is special for our people and for us it's special, too. You can feel it in the changing room, in the training."
Pochettino will make some changes, with Erik Lamela and Toby Alderweireld expected to be rested and Christian Eriksen and Andros Townsend likely to start.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is likely to include Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud in his starting line-up, while youngsters Alex Iwobi and Glen Kamara will be on the bench.
Francis Coquelin is out, but Per Mertesacker is fit again and Gabriel is also available after having his red card from Saturday's defeat at Chelsea overturned yesterday.
Gabriel still faces a separate charge of improper conduct for his reaction after being shown the red card by referee Mike Dean and has until 6.0pm tomorrow to appeal.
The centre-back was dismissed for kicking out at Chelsea forward Diego Costa during the ill-tempered clash. (© Independent News Service)
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