‘Two faces’ – Pochettino issues warning to players ahead of Tottenham v Real Madrid
By Guy Giles
Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has warned his players against complacency as they face an out-of-sorts Real Madrid at Wembley on Wednesday evening.
Real come into the game on the back of a surprise 2-1 loss to minnows Girona in La Liga, and Pochettino has told his team to forget about their opponent’s domestic results.
The Argentine told the Spurs website: “It’s impossible to assess them in La Liga because they have two faces. The mentality can turn quickly.
“Girona or different domestic games are not a reference. In the Champions League it’s a team that is always very competitive and after that defeat (against Girona), they will come trying to compete and trying to win, like us.”
Los Blancos have struggled in La Liga this year, and the defeat to Girona means they now lie eight points behind rivals Barcelona with only 10 games played so far.
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Spurs travelled to the Bernabeu a fortnight ago and managed to come away with a respectable 1-1 draw against the two-time defending champions.
If Spurs were to win against Real at Wembley it would be a remarkable result considering Los Blancos have only lost two times in their last 26 Champions League matches, with their last group-stage loss coming in October 2012.
Despite his words of warning, Pochettino was keen to stress how big an occasion this is for his players.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy because you don’t get many chances to play in the Champions League against Real Madrid at Wembley,” he said.
In other Tottenham Hotspur news, this former Spurs player has delivered his verdict ahead of the match v Real.