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Published: 15:11 | 13/9/16

Pochettino plays down Champions League return


Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is preparing for the Champions League tie against Monaco just as he would a Premier League game.

Tottenham will return to the Champions League fir the first time in six years on Wednesday when they host the French club at Wembley in their Group E opener.

Pochettino knows competing in the Champions League is important for the club but he insists the game is no different to last weekend's clash with Stoke.

"In the Premier League you prove if you're good or not because the Premier League is the toughest competition in the world," Pochettino told his pre-match press conference.

"The Champions League is a competition with different clubs but when you compete against Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, we're talking about the top clubs in the world.

"Now in the Champions League we play against Monaco, CSKA Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen, and it's a different competition, like the Europa League was, but it is just as tough to play against Monaco as it is to play against Stoke, in Stoke.

"There is nothing for us to prove in the Champions League. But we need to be ambitious and focused and try to improve every season and keep our level.

Wednesday's game will take place at Wembley after White Hart Lane was deemed unsuitable to host Champions League matches.

The Wembley pitch is bigger than White Hart Lane and Pochettino has revealed he has converted two pitches at the club's training ground into one that matches the dimensions of the Wembley pitch.

"Maybe it's a bit bigger than White Hart Lane but it is football and we have to play better than our opponent," said Pochettino.

"You will have more space to play, and it is more difficult for the opponent to press you with more metres to run but it is the same for both teams.

"We trust in us. We believe in the way we play and it's a good chance to play on a big pitch. We need to adapt our game. We feel good at White Hart Lane because it's our home and we need to feel good at Wembley.

"We need to go there and behave naturally and not try to look for an excuse. That's never good."

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