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Dele Alli: Tottenham Hotspur not too soft for FA Cup test at Rochdale

Mauricio Pochettino praised his players after Spurs overcame a nightmare start in Turin to draw 2-2 in the Champions League last-16 first leg.
The FC crew pinpoint how Tottenham were able to turn around an early 2-0 deficit at Juventus and gain the advantage in their Champions League tie ahead of the second leg.
Tottenham went two goals down and gave away two penalties in the first half of their Champions League match in Turin but managed to come back 2-2.

TURIN, Italy -- Dele Alli said Tottenham Hotspur are not too "soft" for their forthcoming FA Cup challenge at Rochdale after helping them to a Champions League comeback against Juventus.

Spurs follow their 2-2 draw at Juventus, in which they had trailed 2-0 early on, with a trip to the League One side for an FA Cup fifth-round tie on Sunday.

The state of Rochdale's pitch led Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to express concern, and the club said they were having it re-laid after last Saturday's home match against Fleetwood Town was called off.

The new pitch is not expected to be fully bedded in, meaning Spurs will have to content with a bobbly surface, but Alli said: "We're not soft.

"A lot of us grew up playing on worse pitches than that. A lot of us grew up playing on concrete, so I don't think the pitch is a problem.

"For us, we've just got to go there and be professional and ensure a good performance to win the game."

Spurs were held to a draw at League Two Newport County in the fourth round before winning the replay at Wembley, and Alli added: "It's going to be a very difficult night for us. It's important we don't go there and think it'll be an easy game.

"We know it's not going to be easy. We saw that against Newport when we played them -- it was a difficult game and we had to play them at our place and get the win there.

"It suits them a lot more being at their place, but for us we want to go there and play well, put on a good performance and win the game."

At Juventus, Spurs had trailed to Gonzalo Higuain's double inside eight minutes of their round-of-16 first leg in Turin but recovered superbly to take two away goals back to Wembley on March 7.

Alli said the performance illustrated how far Spurs had come but added that they must put the game behind them and focus on the FA Cup.

"I think it shows a lot of improvement," he said. "Throughout this whole Champions League campaign you've seen the great results we've had, finishing top of our group -- it's a lot different to last season [when Spurs went out in the group stage].

"We said last season we wanted to learn from it because it was a disappointing campaign for us. I think we have this season.

"It was an amazing result tonight, but we've still got another leg to go against these lot.

"It's important we put this fixture behind us now, take the positives from it, try to recover as best we can before the weekend and try to win that game."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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