Sunday 19 November 2017

Pochettino targets derby glory

Mauricio Pochettino is targeting north London supremacy
Mauricio Pochettino is targeting north London supremacy

Mauricio Pochettino is ready to wrestle control of north London football from Arsenal - starting with a win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The 42-year-old will take charge of his first game against the Gunners since being appointed as head coach at White Hart Lane in the summer and has already seen how much the derby means to Tottenham supporters.

Spurs have won just twice at Arsenal in the Premier League era and have suffered some heavy defeats in recent years - but Pochettino is targeting a win this weekend as he looks to guide the club above Arsenal in the table for the first time in 19 years.

"We are ambitious," he said when asked about finishing above Tottenham's fiercest rivals.

"We (the new coaching team) arrived three months ago and we need to make our way but we are focused on the game and know the history. But it is also important to write the history, starting now.

"This is a big game, a tough game, I know. It is always an important game. We need to prepare for the game, to have a good performance and be aggressive. We need to play the game when the referee starts the game and not before. We need to play 90 minutes aggressively and stay focused on our job."

Spurs go into the game having taken just one point from their last three league games, having started the new campaign with back-to-back London derby victories over West Ham and QPR.

They will be buoyed not only by a 3-1 Capital One Cup third round victory over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday but also by the fact Arsenal have won once in their last five fixtures.

Pochettino admits there has been an extra buzz around the training ground as the derby approaches - but wants to see the same kind of atmosphere ahead of any game his team go in to.

"Up until yesterday we were focusing on Nottingham Forest," he said.

"But yes, after West Brom we feel something special - but we always need to feel the same feeling.

"We need to arrive at that moment that every game feels the same as if we are preparing for a game against Arsenal.

"We need to be aggressive and focused on our job, never give up and try to get the victory - this is the winning mentality we need to have."

Having won his opening four games in charge at Spurs, Pochettino has had to lift his squad following a more barren spell and the former Southampton manager admits his side is still a work in progress.

"Always after the game when you analyse you learn. It is important to fix some things and to improve in different situations," he added.

"We have a lot of work to do to improve the concept of the team but we are going in the right way and we need to show our work from the training ground and in the training sessions and produce that in the game."

Press Association

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