Skip to main content

Pochettino not prioritising Premier League ahead of Dortmund clash

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists he is ready to fight for honours on two fronts ahead of the Europa League last-16 trip to Borussia Dortmund.

Pochettino's side are winless in their last two Premier League outings, but remain the nearest challengers to leaders Leicester City, who are five points clear with nine matches remaining.

Despite pledging to make changes in a competition where squad rotation has featured throughout the campaign for Spurs, the former Argentina international is keen to make the most of a mouth-watering clash at Signal Iduna Park.

"Always we try to take the better decision and pick the better players for different games," he told a pre-match news conference ahead of the first leg. 

"I think we have a very tough game against Borussia Dortmund and I think the Europa League and Premier League are competitions that are our priority now because we have two competitions.

"But in the same way we are in a period that is tough for the players and sometimes you need to refresh the team and sometimes you need to rotate.

"It is difficult to play every game with the same team and for that, from the beginning of the season, we always spoke about the important thing is to have a big squad.

"All the players feel they are important and the starting XI is the best team we can pick to try to win the game."

Dele Alli is suspended for the match and remained in London alongside Danny Rose and Eric Dier.

Left-back Rose suffered from cramp in his calf in Saturday's 2-2 derby draw against Arsenal, while Dier has been rested.

Dortmund are also five points off the top in the Bundesliga, although they trail a more expected potential title-winner in old foes Bayern Munich.

Bayern shared a 0-0 draw with Dortmund last weekend and Pochettino added: "There are some similarities between ourselves and Borussia Dortmund. It's exciting for us to play against them.

"We know about Dortmund's goals - they have good players and a great coach. I like the way they play and I think it is a good challenge for us.

"They are one of the best teams in Europe."