Tottenham must make fast start in the Champions League, insists Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham must make fast start in the Champions League, insists Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino's men start their European campaign with a home match at Wembley, against Dortmund.

"That's England, that's the culture and we have to be clever to find a different way to be competitive". Pochettino rested some key names in Spurs' 3-0 win over Everton on the weekend, making it clear that he intends to take this competition a tad more serious than he might have last term.

"Last season after the first game against Monaco it was hard to change the dynamic", he told reporters, according to Football.London.

"It is so important, to start well in the competition and get the three points".

"It will be tough because Dortmund are a great team, but in our minds, our mentality is to win and be aggressive from the start". I'm expecting a good game.

"It's true that in theory Real Madrid first, then Dortmund, Tottenham and Apoel to compete to be second. That's the theory but football is not theory".

He added: "Of course the final we played here at Wembley is still a painful memory, but excitement is the overriding emotion".

Spurs are playing all their home games at Wembley this season, as they prepare to move into a new ground next year.

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Since Pochettino's appointment, Spurs, despite their smaller and stricter budget, have nestled their way into the top four consistently, being the closest challenger to the eventual Premier League champions in each of the last two seasons.

"We've got to play our game".

Dele Alli will serve the first of a three-match suspension for his straight red card in last season's Europa League match against KAA Gent, and his absence is a significant blow.

"He's a fantastic player and we will miss him". "It will definitely give us confidence if we go out and get results against teams like Dortmund. When you are here, the players want to fight to try to win it", Pochettino said.

Freiburg's Yoric Ravet, who had initially been booked for the tackle, was sent off for the foul on Schmelzer after the video assistant referee spotted the midfielder had gone in studs up.

Borussia Dortmund may be going through a hard period with injuries, presenting continually challenges for new manager Peter Bosz, but there's also some optimism ahead of the Tottenham Hotspur match.

"It's going to be a huge challenge, but I see ourselves as being on the same level as Tottenham", said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.

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