Saturday 15 December 2018

'Bring on Barca' - Mauricio Pochettino oozes optimism as Kane keeps Tottenham's Champions League hopes alive

Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their second goal
Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their second goal

PA Sport

Mauricio Pochettino is backing his Tottenham side to take their Champions League qualification hopes to the last group game after their escape act against PSV.

Spurs were on the brink of going out as their faltering Group B campaign looked like hitting a new low after Luuk de Jong put the Dutch side ahead after only 62 seconds at Wembley.

But captain Harry Kane scored two goals in the final 12 minutes to earn a 2-1 win and leave it all to play for going into the final two group games.

Inter Milan, who are three points ahead of Spurs after drawing with Barcelona, come to Wembley in three weeks and Pochettino believes they can get the win which would force a final-game decider at the Nou Camp in December.

"Two games to play, if we are capable of beating Inter Milan we are going to be with them on seven points with one game to play," said Pochettino.

"In one game anything can happen. We will see if Barcelona have qualified for the next stage and we are going to go to Barcelona trying to win the game.

"The belief is still there, you know me, I am so optimistic.

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"Now is to be focused on Saturday but talking about Champions League is about being focused on Inter Milan.

"I think we were so close to winning the game and deserved more in Milan (a 2-1 defeat), we played better than them.

"I think we can beat them and I am so optimistic. If we are capable of beating them, the percentage to be in the next stage will be high."

PSV defended doggedly for much of the match on a Wembley pitch damaged by recent NFL matches.

However, defeat for the visitors ended their chances of progressing from the group.

PSV manager Mark van Bommel was proud of the effort from his players and refused to blame the surface for the loss.

"It's s***," Van Bommel said of the pitch.

"You know what I mean, it's bad. In Holland, we say s*** a little bit quicker than in English.

"It's not good but we're not complaining. We knew it before, we were training and I told the guys after one minute of complaining you have to stop and go on with training and then get used to the pitch."

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