Hugo Lloris and Mauricio Pochettino held their pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League second leg matchup between Tottenham and Juve. Here's a selection of what they had to say:
Spurs: "Strong mentally and physically"
THE WORDS OF LLORIS
Lloris: "There’s still 90 minutes to play and I think we’ve shown in the past our character. It was another example of the competitiveness of our team and we were nearly out of the competition. If they had scored a third goal before halftime, it would have been very difficult. We turned the game on our side and we were very pleased with the result. It’s true that we have a little advantage with two away goals but at this point in the competition against a team lke Juventus anything is possible. If we don’t put out the right energy, mentality and attitude, things can turn very quickly."
"I think we expect a tough game and a battle. We’ll start the game in the same way was usual. Our target is to win the game, enjour our football and bring the right energy in front of our crowd. If you start to think too much and play for a draw, especially against a team like Juve, you can be in trouble. The best way is to start sharp like we normally do at home with the same mentality like we always do."
A BATTLE OF TWO GOALKEEPING GREATS
Lloris: "[Buffon's] one of the greatest in football history, obviously. He’s put his stamp on football history and you can only have respect and admiration for his whole career. When I was at the academy, there were two keepers that were inspirational to me, Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon, and it’s always special to meet them and play against them. However, as soon as the game starts you’re only focused on your own performance."
AT THE BIGGEST MOMENT
Lloris: "We’ve arrived at this point, with all the maturity that we did, knowing exactly the expectations from our manager and the way he wants us to play football. Now we just enjoy it because we’re in the most important period of the season where you can win or lose everything you’ve been going for since the start of the season."
"We know we are in good shape. We're strong mentality and physcially, but you need to show it every time you have the opportunity. Tomorrow is the highest level of football you can play in Champions League against one of the biggest clubs in Europe who have played 2 of the last 3 finals so it’s a great chance to show the face of Tottenham and our chance for the club to show our quality and strength.
THE WORDS OF POCHETTINO
POCHETTINO: "We’ve shown in the last few seasons that we’re competitive and now we need to be consistent in every season and I tell you that faith and believe is so important within a group that are trying to compete with different tools than others."
"We are in good form and have improved a lot from two seasons ago. I think about what I told you how I wanted to improve the team every season step by step and maybe not always the biggest steps but little steps every season and now you can see the team is more mature and more competitive every season. We are going to enjoy tomorrow knowing very well we are going to play one of the best teams in Europe, but we are a brave and positive team who loves the challenge. We are going to compete and going to enjoy things because it is a game. We need to think we can win. We always think in this way and what happens will be a result of our performance. If we perform the way that we are used to, tomorrow we can win and move onto the next stage.
POCHETTINO: "After the group stage, it’s not only that it was a fantastic group stage but that it improves our reputation in Europe because last season I think was a massive disappointment for us to go out in the group stage. This year after victories against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and winning the group stage, people start to respect Tottenham. We try to play good football, the football that we love and feel, and yes we feel that our brand of football brings respect from Europe.