Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino backed Erik Lamela to hit top form after the midfielder scored his first goal since returning from a hip injury that kept him out for over a year, in Wednesday's 2-0 FA Cup win over Newport County. We have to get the diving out of the game.
Pochettino spoke to Football.London after the game, and suggested that Llorente did miss his opportunity to find the net, but noted that it's tough for all players to nail down a first-team spot, and isn't anxious about one player.
"Who is playing more?"
"I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now". He has made 13 league appearances this season and two more in the FA Cup. He told me after the game and said he couldn't believe the pitch stood up to what it did. If you don't win, you should be anxious about the performance.
Before that, Spurs face fierce rivals Arsenal tomorrow lunchtime then travel to Italy to play Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Petr Cech's involvement in the north London derby is still in doubt, Wenger confirmed.
Spurs have only suffered one defeat in 16 matches in all competitions, with that setback coming away at Manchester City in the Premier League on December 16.
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Pochettino confirmed that he was anxious about the pitch, which he said "was not in a condition to play football".
"I think you are going to struggle".
Rochdale CEO Russ Green wasn't impressed with complaints from the last round, saying, "We didn't endanger anybody's careers and I don't care if it's a Tottenham player or a Millwall player - they are still professional footballers".
"I think it is about providing a safe place to play for the players". Rochdale can not play there, too.
The pitch didn't look great on television, which is what formed Pochettino's opinion.
Pochettino said he was due to speak to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy on Thursday afternoon, when he admitted he would press for a solution to be found.
"Not because we are Tottenham - Rochdale I think too can not play there. We are going to increase our level and in that very busy period we need all focus on trying to give their best", he added.