Jan 30, 2015

    Spurs must go in for the kill, says Pochettino


    MAURICIO Pochettino said he was proud of his Tottenham Hotspur players after they reached the League Cup final, but challenged his players to learn to "kill games".

    Tottenham will face London rivals Chelsea at Wembley on March 1, after prevailing 3-2 against Sheffield United over two legs in the semi-final.

    Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Spurs looked to be sailing through against the League One club after Christian Eriksen whipped in a stunning free kick.

    But Nigel Clough's resilient team fought back, and two goals in as many minutes from substitute Che Adams had the home fans dreaming.

    The tie was heading for extra time, until Eriksen latched on to a through ball from the impressive Harry Kane before clipping a cool finish beyond Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard into the bottom corner.

    "We know that in England, the special thing is to get to Wembley and play in the final. I'm proud of my players," Pochettino said.

    "The lesson for us is you need to kill the game.

    "You play with emotion and sometimes we see what happened at Sheffield United.

    "We have a young team and they will learn from that experience.

    "In football, you need to kill and to score when you have the possibility, because we created the chances."

    Tottenham's trip to Wembley is their first in a final since 2009. They can take confidence from the fact that they beat the Blues 5-3 on Jan 1.

    Pochettino said the priority is the Premier League and Europa League matches that come before the final, but he is already expecting a difficult test against Jose Mourinho's team.

    "It's one of the best teams in the world, but the final is only one game and anything can happen," he said.

    "Before that, we need to be focused on other competitions."

    Meanwhile, Chelsea striker Diego Costa faces a three-game suspension after being charged with violent conduct for appearing to stamp on Liverpool's Emre Can, the Football Association announced on Wednesday.

    Costa seemed to deliberately stand on Can's ankle in the 12th minute of Tuesday's League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, which Chelsea won 1-0 to complete a 2-1 aggregate victory.

    The incident was missed by match officials and reviewed by a video panel on Wednesday.

    Costa will not face a charge over a similar incident involving Martin Skrtel that occurred later in the game.