Tottenham can repeat Chelsea win against Manchester United - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino has urged his players to use last season's historic victory at Chelsea as a source of confidence and motivation as he seeks to halt his losing record at Old Trafford as Tottenham Hotspur manager.
Spurs won back-to-back Premier League away matches against Manchester United under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood in Sept. 2012 and Jan. 2014. But they have since lost all four of their trips under Pochettino.
"That's not perception, it's reality," the Argentinian told a news conference. "We didn't score in four games or take a point. But Chelsea last season was a good example -- after 28 years [without a win there], we won. Why not [do it again]?
"Still after four years there are many things to improve, and one thing we need to improve is winning against some clubs away from home, like Manchester United.
"In the last four years we've played there and always we lost, for different reasons. We played some games well, some not so well. It's a massive challenge for us to go to Manchester United and show we're capable of winning.
"In football, if you don't believe, you lose before you arrive there. It's important to arrive in the best condition, not only in our tactics and organisation, but in our mind we need to go there and believe we can win."
Tottenham have made their best start to a Premier League campaign for four years after winning their first two fixtures, and they are now bidding to complete a hat trick of opening victories for the first time since 2009.
The fact they have been unable to achieve that treble for so long is significant for Pochettino.
"It's good to make a statement that historically the club haven't won too much," he said. "We are a big club of course. We need to be bigger of course, and we are on the way to being a bigger club. But after four years, many people say we haven't won anything. But historically, that is our history.
"We are trying to settle the basis to win, we are breaking records about good results, but of course it is not enough. But it's not enough because maybe sometimes we are victims of our success. But it would be perfect to win again and settle after [nine] years to win the first three matches.
"We knew in the last few years it is so important to start in a good way, because to catch the teams above you is always difficult."
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is under scrutiny after his side lost 3-2 to Brighton in their last match, but Pochettino said: "You don't believe I'm in the same position? We feel the pressure every week.
"Of course the circumstances are different over the year but every game you play, you're under pressure.
"At Tottenham, Southampton, Espanyol the people are judging you, talking about your decisions. When you win, all the people knew you were so good. When you lose all the people knew the manager was wrong.
"In all the clubs in the league, we're so exposed to you and the fans -- more in England, the head coach or manager is such an important person. But in all the clubs you feel a similar pressure.
"I don't know, I was never Man Utd manager. I can only compare with Southampton and Espanyol and here, and I promise you it was similar."