Pochettino: ‘This team is growing up’ as Spurs keep UCL hopes alive

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Going behind in the second minute was not ideal, but resilient Tottenham Hotspur kept grinding until it picked up a 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

“We won and suffered a lot,” Pochettino said. ‘It was a massive effort so I was pleased. We play a lot in eight days. Now we need to try to recover for Saturday. It is another must-win game.”

[ RECAP: Spurs 2-1 PSV Eindhoven ]

Spurs entered the match with just one point through three matches, and needed a win to keep alive its hopes for the knockout rounds. Barcelona drew Inter Milan, and Harry Kane‘s second half double pulled Spurs to within three points of the Italian side.

Next up is another London Derby, this one away to desperate Crystal Palace on Saturday. Pochettino said the character on display Tuesday is what it will need in the Premier League and the final UCL showdowns against Inter Milan and Barcelona (especially given that Inter can do well with a draw at Spurs).

“We are confident. This team is growing up. The team is fighting so I am so happy. … We have the character of never giving up which is so important. I am happy always with the situation. Today we kept pushing and that victory is so important.”

It may be a case of too little, too late for the UCL, but were 20 minutes away from potentially missing out on even the third place spot which sends clubs to Europa League. But if Spurs beat Inter, it will be in relatively decent position: Facing a Barcelona team playing a Catalan Derby two days prior.