Mauricio Pochettino backs Erik Lamela to hit 'real level' at Tottenham Hotspur

Rochdale hosted an FA Cup replay this week but concerns have been raised about the pitch

Rochdale hosted an FA Cup replay this week but concerns have been raised about the pitch

"He can reach a higher level than before because he's more experienced".

Tottenham and Rochdale are at odds over the Spotland pitch ahead of their FA Cup tie.

"For me, it is the same whether it is Newport or another Premier League team".

After the game both managers commented on the terrible quality of the playing surface.

"We are a team that respects everyone", Pochettino said.

"I think you are going to struggle no? Them, too", Pochettino warned.

"I don't think it helps football".

"Now I want to keep playing".

"Our win at White Hart Lane last season was one of the most one-sided games I have seen against them in the 45 years I have followed Spurs". I don't think Arsene Wenger can play the same tactics that stifle us as other lower table teams have done this season at Wembley.

"And it's a massive risk for their players, too". I don't know what happened with this pitch but it is true that the pictures [I have seen] - I think it's not a pitch in a condition to play football.

Speaking shortly after his side's 2-0 victory over Michael Flynn's side, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino insisted that Llorente's struggle to find the back of the net does not worry him and that the former Spain worldwide must continue to fight for his place in the starting XI just like everyone else. There is also the possibility of them helping Rochdale to improve the surface.

Tottenham are unbeaten in 11 games, and victory at Wembley this weekend would leave Arsenal with a mountain to climb to finish in the top four.

Since the original tie, Newport had lost twice, while Spurs had beaten Manchester United and drawn at Liverpool.

"Yes, I believe [we can finish second]".

Asked if he would bring the chairman, whose birthday is on Thursday, a present, Pochettino said: "Yes!"

"The gap is not massive but it will be tough".

"There has been lots of discussion in the media after Anthony Taylor was named the referee for the game on Saturday because of his history with Arsene Wenger".

Toby Alderweireld could start against Arsenal after playing 90 minutes against Newport, which was his first appearance since November 1. "He's doing well, training so hard, he's starting to feel his legs. It's important, and I'm going to see him and try to talk with him and see if we can find some solution".

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