Pochettino ready to put faith in youthful energy for City rematch
Tottenham have to shift their focus back to domestic matters when they meet Manchester City again on Saturday.
With the memory of their Champions League classic still fresh, Spurs can dent City’s season further if they derail their title push at the Etihad.
Having knocked Pep Guardiola’s men out of Europe’s premier competition on Wednesday, Spurs can strengthen their hopes of making the top four with another win.
However, boss Mauricio Pochettino knows a change of mindset will be needed.
“The Premier League is different and we are fighting for different things,” he told his club’s official website.
“Manchester City are trying to win the Premier League and, for us, it’s so important to be in the top four for next season.”
With Liverpool having what appears on paper to be an easier run-in, City know that they can afford no slip-ups in a bid to defend their title.
There is considerable pressure on them as a result, but also on Spurs who, if they win, can put four points between themselves in third and Arsenal and Chelsea, who sit fourth and fifth and do not play until Sunday.
“We need to assess the players and need to be sure we are going there competing with fresh legs with the possibility to fight and challenge them again,” Pochettino added.
“That’s why we’re working so hard now to try to assess the players in the right way and try to mix players who can be competitive and have the possibility to win.”
To get the result he needs, after such a taxing night on Wednesday, the Argentinian admits he may have to field some fresh faces.
“City have an unbelievable squad, they can change and rotate the starting 11 and keep the same level on the pitch,” he said.
“With all the circumstances and some injuries, maybe we need to think about playing with younger players, not without experience, but with plenty of energy and keeping the same ideas – to be brave and try to compete.
“It’s going to be tough but we need to think about recovery and try to design the best strategy to try to be competitive.”