Sheffield United vs Tottenham preview: Mauricio Pochettino not taking Blades lightly as he labels semi-final his 'most important game'

Pochettino's side take a slender 1-0 lead into the second leg at Bramall Lane with a place in the Capital One Cup final up for grabs

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The Independent Online

Mauricio Pochettino has hailed tomorrow’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Bramall Lane as “the most important game” of his Tottenham Hotspur tenure so far.

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Spurs only have a 1-0 lead after edging a tight game at White Hart Lane last Wednesday, and Pochettino knows that tomorrow night’s game will be a tough challenge against motivated, hard-working League One opposition.

“It is the most important game because it is the chance to play in a final at Wembley,” Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference this morning. “It is important to have the opportunity to win a cup in March. I think that is very important and would be a very good thing for the club.”


Sheffield United out-ran Spurs for much of the first leg, and it took a late Andros Townsend penalty to give them the lead. Pochettino has demanded that his players be stronger and sharper tomorrow night, and impose their game on the opposition.

“We need to play better than Sheffield, show more energy than Sheffield and try to fight,” Pochettino said. “For me, we need to go there thinking it is 0-0. I believe we will need to score. We have to forget about the first leg and show the mentality to win.”

Andros Townsend's penalty in the first leg currently splits the two sides

This means the pressing, direct, counter-attacking football that has been so successful at times this season. “When I speak about being more aggressive it is in the right way,” Pochettino said. “We need to fight to get on the ball and instill our game.” Nacer Chadli is back in training after compassionate leave, but is unlikely to feature.