Pochettino downplays Wembley factor in Man Utd FA Cup semi

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
AFP

London (AFP) – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino does not believe playing at Wembley will give his side an advantage in Saturday’s blockbuster FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

Spurs, playing at Wembley this season while their new stadium is being built, will be on familiar turf, although using the away dressing room, but Pochettino insists it will be a level playing field against Jose Mourinho’s side.

“Of course, we feel at home,” the Argentine said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday. “But it’s different to when we play in the Premier League.

“I don’t believe (we will have an advantage) because Manchester United have the experience to play at Wembley too. It’s not an event just for us.

“I think it will be a typical cup game at Wembley — half Tottenham and half Manchester United. I don’t believe we are going to have some advantage for that.”

The Spurs boss does not believe winning the FA Cup would change the club, even though their trophy cabinet has been empty for a decade.

“It’s fantastic if Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham will win the FA Cup,” he said. “Is it going to change our life? I don’t believe, I don’t believe. Who needs it more? I don’t know.

“We are going to try and fight to win, but it is not about need or not need, it’s about a title that would be fantastic to finish the season, play in the final and win the trophy.

“At the end it would be fantastic to finish the season with a trophy. I don’t think it’s about need or not need.”

The other semi-final, on Sunday, sees Chelsea take on relegation-threatened Southampton.

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