Pochettino plays down talk of pressure on Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United – Sunday 4:30pm, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Preview

MAURICIO POCHETTINO was quick to relieve his side on any unnecessary pressure ahead of their Premier League clash with struggling Newcastle United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spurs have made a positive start to the campaign, following an open day victory over Aston Villa with a commendable draw at champions Manchester City – results which will carry his charges into Sunday’s clash as red hot favourites.

“I think if we’re going to talk about the extra pressure it’s a little bit early,” Pochettino explained during his pre-match press conference. 
“We didn’t feel the pressure of the Champions League final, so after our second game, we’re not going to.

“Speculation is there, perception is there, I think we are going to try to play the game and try to win. Football is football and you have to respect your opponent. Newcastle is going to be a tough opponent.”

While it’s almost ‘all smiles’ in North London, it has been a polar-opposite for the Magpies and their under-fire boss, Steve Bruce.

Bruce was not a popular choice to replace Rafa Benitez amongst Newcastle fans, and the pointless start to the campaign made by their side has drawn huge criticism from the Toon Army. 

Nevertheless, Pochettino expected a difficult encounter with the proverbial ‘wounded animal’ – this despite a notable chasm in class between the two sides.

“It’s going to be a very difficult opponent,” the Argentine continued. 
“They need to start to win points, they’ll be tough. They have a new manager, new signings. All that is going to make them more focused and try to be compact. 

“For us, after a good result at City, our trust and confidence is high and at the same point believing Newcastle will be tough. We have to beat them.”

Heung-Min Son is back into contention after serving a three-match ban. Meanwhile, Pochettino will make a late decision on Dele Alli after the midfielder returned to full training

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United – Head to head:
Tottenham Hotspur won: 70
Drawn: 32
Newcastle United won: 58

Last five meetings (All competitions):
May 15, 2016 – Premier League
Newcastle United 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur

August 13, 2017 – Premier League
Newcastle United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

May 9, 2018 – Premier League 
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Newcastle United

August 11, 2018 – Premier League
Newcastle United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

February 2, 2019 – Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Newcastle United

Jeevesie’s prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Newcastle United

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk