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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Mauricio Pochettino: not playing at home no excuse if Tottenham lose to Watford

Spurs will play the third-round clash at the home of League Two side MK Dons on Wednesday night as their new stadium is not finished

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and wife Karina attend the Fifa Awards at Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday. Reuters
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and wife Karina attend the Fifa Awards at Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday. Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino will not let his side playing their League Cup game against Watford in Milton Keynes become a possible excuse for failure.

Spurs will play the third-round clash at the home of League Two side MK Dons on Wednesday night as their new stadium is not finished and Wembley is not ready to host a football match after the Anthony Joshua fight at the weekend.

They opted to play the game 80 kilometres away rather than reverse the fixture, which Watford had stated as their preference.

Playing at a stadium which is not theirs is nothing new to Pochettino's side and he will not let it become a reason to under-perform.

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"If there is one thing I didn't want it is to give reason to the players to say, 'If we don't win it's because of Milton Keynes, it's because we don't play at our stadium, it's because we play at Wembley'," he said.

"I am not like this. If we lose it's because we deserve to lose and our performance is no good or because I made a mistake.

"It is our responsibility, but for me if you are a winner you have a different mentality and if you are a loser you always try to find an excuse to avoid responsibility.

"I understand that it is not the same as playing in your home and the help from our fans will be fantastic in our new stadium and the energy is different playing in MK than your own stadium.

"But I don't want to find an excuse, we need to go there and show personality and character and win the game."

Tottenham should have settled into their new 62,000-seater stadium by now, had it not been delayed after failures to the alarm systems.

And Pochettino has urged disgruntled supporters to show a little bit more patience.

"I am the first that would like to finish the new stadium," the Argentine said. "If I have to go to work after training and help the builders finish the stadium as soon as possible so the fans will be happy, and all the players will be happy and the chairman will be happy, I promise I go."