Tottenham want to delay Man City game, host at Wembley - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Tottenham Hotspur are looking at the possibility of hosting Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Monday, Oct. 29, as they seek a resolution to their fixture issue, coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday.
Spurs, who host Fulham at Wembley on Saturday, already moved home matches against Liverpool on Sept. 15 and Cardiff City on Oct. 6 to the national stadium because their new venue will not be ready in time.
The fourth home match of the season, against City, is scheduled for Oct. 28. But the new stadium may not be completed by then and an NFL game is being played at Wembley on that Sunday.
The Premier League have already given Tottenham special treatment by allowing them to play their home fixtures at two different grounds in one season, so it is unlikely they will be allowed to move the match to a third venue.
Twickenham Stadium in London and Stadium MK in Milton Keynes have both been presented as potential alternatives, as has playing the game at City's Etihad Stadium.
Spurs are therefore considering the possibility of delaying the fixture against Man City by a day and holding the match on Monday night, even though both teams could have a League Cup fourth-round game in midweek.
"At the moment I cannot say that we're not going to play this game in our new stadium," Pochettino told a news conference. "If it's not possible to play in the new stadium, it's about finding a way to play at Wembley because I think to play at another place -- maybe three stadiums in one season -- will be too much.
"Maybe we need to adapt. The day after the NFL game, maybe the pitch is not in the best condition, but we need to make the effort and try to play in the end because maybe to find another date will be difficult."
An NFL game set to be played at the new Tottenham stadium on Oct. 14 was also moved to Wembley.
"We all feel disappointed of course with the announcement [of the delay] this week," Pochettino said. "We need to be all together. We need our fans to understand that it's a massive, huge project that will be [there] forever for them and the club. Of course, I understand the problems about the tickets, the money and everything, and I feel sorry for [the fans].
"I want to say thank you and apologise. We're going to try to reward everyone by winning games. It's the only way we can add and can pay all the effort they are doing and they are going to do for the club."
Meanwhile, with the Premier League transfer window closed, Spurs can no longer add to their squad -- but their players can still move abroad, and Pochettino said there could be departures.
"I don't believe there will be too much movement because we cannot sign [replacements], but different individual things can happen," Pochettino said. "It's so clear my message: I promise I will fix it if someone is not happy to be here for the next five months until the transfer window opens again.
"All players that are going to be here need to feel part of the team [and that they] can help the team any time the manager will demand, with full commitment. Some players maybe want to move but don't have an offer. Maybe some players receive an offer but don't want to move. For me, they are players I am going to work with until January, but if they change their mind and are working with their people to try to get an opportunity, I am open and then it is [chairman] Daniel Levy who will make the final decision."
Left-back Danny Rose has been linked to a move abroad, and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and academy graduate Josh Onomah could also be loaned out.
"We're a bit disappointed about Josh because he was injured in the summer and could not play one game or train with the first team through the whole preseason," Pochettino said.
"He's a little bit behind the rest but we're working. I'm going to decide if he's a player who can stay with us or maybe, if we believe he can play more, we'll find some alternative for him to play more than last season, to try for him to be more involved than he was at Aston Villa."