Soul of White Hart Lane will be at new stadium, says Mauricio Pochettino

12 May 2017 03:39

Mauricio Pochettino believes the soul of White Hart Lane will carry over to Tottenham's new stadium but insists he will not be taking his managerial seat with him.

Spurs host Manchester United on Sunday in their final game at the current ground before they move to Wembley for a season while their new home is completed.

A farewell ceremony will be put on after the full-time whistle blows, with some of the club's most cherished players and managers set to attend.

Spurs have called White Hart Lane home since 1899, but unlike London rivals Arsenal and West Ham they will be staying at the current site, the new stadium located just next door.

Fans have been offered the chance to buy their seats at White Hart Lane for £50 but Pochettino will not be taking his away with him.

"If I feel there is something to take home to my house I will, but not my manager's seat - if I do I will have a big problem with my wife," Pochettino said.

"I hope Sunday will be the most special day in the last three seasons. It will be special for our fans, staff, players, people who love Tottenham.

"At the same time I am excited about the new stadium because the soul and the smell of White Hart Lane will keep there.

"When the new era and stadium arrive there will be different expectations but, most important, always in our memory will be White Hart Lane, the soul and the smell.

"When you move to another area it's so difficult, but now we are changing nothing because the new stadium will be in the same place as White Hart Lane and that is fantastic."

Pochettino knows how it feels to leave a long-established ground as he was playing for Espanyol when they moved away from Sarria Stadium, their home for 74 years, in 1997.

He believes such experiences can bring a club together.

"Why shouldn't we win some trophies in the season at Wembley?" said Pochettino.

"After leaving Sarria, we spent 12 years at the Olympic Stadium in Montjuic and won the Copa del Rey twice. It is a moment when the club need your support, your effort, your best.

"In that moment I remember trying to give 200 per cent because I felt the club needed me. We created a very special feeling among ourselves. We were united, very strong."

In terms of this season, however, Sunday's game against United could be something of a dead rubber for Spurs, who will concede the Premier League title to Chelsea if the Blues beat West Brom on Friday.

Defeat at West Ham last weekend left Tottenham seven points behind Chelsea with three games to play, and Pochettino admits it has been difficult to lift his players.

"It is a moment to be focused on finishing the season in the best way," Pochettino said.

"It was difficult training from Monday to Wednesday, to be happy and start to focus only on United as we missed a big opportunity to put pressure on Chelsea and to win the league.

"Now it's in their hands. It's so difficult now to win at the end but before West Ham we believed it was possible.

"It was difficult to lift everyone to be ready again for Man United but we are okay now and focused.

"We are looking forward to the last game at White Hart Lane and have many reasons to be happy."

Danny Rose has returned to training but is still not considered match fit while Harry Winks and Erik Lamela remain unavailable with ankle and hip injuries respectively.

Source: PA