Poch: Europa is a chance to make Wembley our home

Date published: Tuesday 6th December 2016 12:20 - Joe Williams

Mauricio Pochettino insists that he wants Tottenham to qualify for the Europa League by finishing third in their Champions League group as it provides them an opportunity to get used to playing at Wembley.

Dropping into the Europa League is arguably the worst case scenario for Spurs in Group E, given the toll the competition could take on their domestic ambitions.

Pochettino admits the combination of Thursday nights in Europe and Sunday afternoons in the Premier League would be psychologically more difficult for his players.

“For us it was also hard to play Tuesday and Wednesday too, we’re out of the Champions League,” Pochettino said.

“But always it’s harder to play Thursday and Sunday, it’s psychological, we need to play Sunday at 4pm while our habit now is to play Saturday 3pm in the Premier League – it’s the best time to play football.

“It’s always difficult because with Thursday travel, you’re back maybe late on Friday morning, always it’s difficult and tough.”

Pochettino insists, however, Tottenham will go all out to beat CSKA, not least because it will end their losing run at Wembley, where Spurs have lost six consecutive matches and are due to play all their home fixtures next season.

Europa League football would also give younger players like Josh Onomah, Harry Winks and Cameron Carter-Vickers a chance to shine in the first team.

“To be out of the Champions League is important for different reasons,” Pochettino said.

“We have the chance to play more games at Wembley, next season we will play a lot of games there. It is a great chance to get experience at Wembley and make it our home.

“And then, for the squad to be involved in different competitions. We have a lot of young players who need experience to play in Europe.

“And also, I think we cannot cope with maybe the pressure of the Champions League and Premier League.

“Now is a good chance to show we have learned from our experience in the Champions League, so why can’t Tottenham to go far in the Europa League?”

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