Champions League final left Tottenham feeling 'empty' says Pochettino

AFP , Friday 25 Oct 2019

Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino grimaces before the Champions League, group B, soccer match between Tottenham and Red Star Belgrade, at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 AP

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted on Friday it has taken his side time to recover from the hammer blow of losing the Champions League final to Liverpool.

The two sides will meet for the first time since the Reds' victory in Madrid at Anfield on Sunday after very different starts to the season.

Liverpool are six points clear at the top of the Premier League as they look to end a 30-year wait to win the title, while Tottenham are 13 points further back in seventh.

"It was tough. The last game of the season, the final of the Champions League is all or nothing and it was nothing in the end," said Pochettino.

"It means a lot for the club to reach the final of the Champions League but for the players or the coaching staff we felt empty after the game.

"We've spoken a lot about my feelings after the Champions League final, but now we have full energy and we have recovered from that situation and now it's the moment to build again our confidence and trust and start to show our real talent and potential."

Pochettino is hopeful that Tuesday's 5-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League proves to be a turning point in Tottenham's season after winning just three of their first 12 games in all competitions.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were the stars of the show in midweek with two goals each, but there were also promising signs from club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele in midfield after a slow start to his Spurs career.

Tottenham saw off stiff competition to land the French international midfielder from Lyon for 70 million euros ($79 million, £63 million) in July.

"When you sign a player, despite the amount you pay, with the profile of Tanguy Ndombele or Giovani Lo Celso or Ryan Sessegnon you need minimum one year and a half, or two years," added Pochettino.

"Look at what happened with Son or (Moussa) Sissoko, they started to perform in year two, year three.

"Today the market is the market, you cannot judge the player because you paid some kind of amount.

"He played two years in Lyon and moved to England where everything is new, but the quality is there. They need time to show their real quality."

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