Tottenham have no Wembley advantage over Man United - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham will not gain an advantage from playing Saturday's FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, their temporary home for the season.
Spurs are spending the year at the national stadium while their new 61,500-seater stadium is being built and, after a stuttering start to the campaign, they have made Wembley into a formidable home, winning there against Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Arsenal and United.
Jan Vertonghen is among the players to suggest that Spurs have an advantage for this weekend's clash but Pochettino said Jose Mourinho's side have plenty of experience of their own at Wembley. Spurs have played 30 times at Wembley in the last two seasons, including last year's European home games and the FA Cup semifinal defeat to Chelsea, while United have played 17 times at the 90,000-seater venue since it opened in 2007.
Asked if Spurs have an advantage on Saturday, Pochettino said: "No, I don't believe so because Manchester United have the experience of playing in Wembley too. It's not an advantage for us, not a disadvantage for them.
"I think it will be a typical FA Cup game at Wembley: Half Tottenham and half Manchester United and I don't believe we will have some advantage for that."
Spurs will take the East dressing room on Saturday, having been designated that end by the FA, but they have used the West facilities for this season's home games.
"Now it feels different because we will share facilities with Manchester United," Pochettino added. "During the season only we own the stadium and we feel like home. Now we are going to share with Manchester United. Of course it's special, it's a different competition and sure that the atmosphere will be completely different to the Premier League."
Spurs are without a trophy in a decade, since the 2008 League Cup, while they have not won the FA Cup since 1991, losing their last seven consecutive semifinals -- a competition record.
Pochettino has spent the season insisting that winning the FA Cup will not change the culture or mentality at Spurs and he has described the Premier League and Champions League as the only "real" trophies -- a message he reiterated ahead of the game against United.
"It's fantastic if Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham will win the FA Cup," he said. "Is it going to change our life? I don't believe so, I don't believe. Who needs it more, I don't know. We are going to try and fight to win, but it is not about need or not need, it's about a title that would be fantastic to finish the season, play in the final and win trophy.
"At the end it would be fantastic the finish the season with a trophy but I don't think it's about need or not need.
"Every press conference you ask [me about the FA Cup's importance]. Always my answer is yes I agree that if we are capable to win the Premier League and the Champions League, it is a moment you say the team has improved and reached the next level," he added.
"Until that, winning the FA Cup or the League Cup will be fantastic for our fans but is not going to move the club to a different level. That is my opinion. Some people respect it, some people don't. I respect all opinions. I want to play to win the Premier League and Champions League.
"It is my vision, I want to play to win the Premier League, I want to win the Champions League. If we can play to try to win the FA Cup then fantastic. If you are going to change the vision or put the club in a different level you must compete to win the Premier League and then to compete and then win the Champions League."
Pochettino is without Harry Winks (ankle) and Danny Rose (calf) for the match and he said he had not decided if Toby Alderweireld would start after a successful return to the team against Brighton, or if Michel Vorm would continue to play in the cup games ahead of No. 1 goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.