LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur will successfully adapt to playing at Wembley next season when it becomes their temporary home despite their struggles at the national stadium in recent years, their coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday.
Spurs will say goodbye to their White Hart Lane home of 118 years when they play their last match against Manchester United on Sunday before a season at Wembley while they build a new stadium on the site of their existing ground.
”I‘m a very sensitive person and so emotional. It will be difficult not to cry on Sunday,“ Pochettino told reporters. ”You suffer for the people that will be so emotional on Sunday.
”For the fans it means a lot. But I think our fans are so excited to welcome the new stadium too. That doesn’t mean they are happy that it’s the end of White Hart Lane but they are excited for the future of the club.
“It will be very emotional but at the same time it will be very exciting to welcome the new stadium.”
Tottenham must first play at Wembley while their new 800 million pounds ($1 billion) 61,559-seater stadium is built and their recent record there makes worrying reading.
Since Wembley reopened in 2007, Spurs have won twice in 10 visits and have lost two League Cup finals, three FA Cup semis and two of this season’s three Champions League group games.
Pochettino, though, is confident that his team will grow into their new surroundings.
”We will make Wembley our home and we will start to feel very comfortable there,“ he said. ”It’s about the adaptation.
”When you feel that your home is White Hart Lane it’s so difficult to change your mind and be ready for Wembley but next season there’s no excuse. It’s Wembley or Wembley. It’s not a doubt with some games at Wembley and some at White Hart Lane.
“I‘m sure that from day one next season we will be thinking of Wembley and that’s very different,” added the Argentine who has transformed the team into one challenging for titles.
Asked how his young side can get even better, Pochettino said they would have to be clever in their approach.
“It’s a big challenge to play at Wembley and to try to improve again next season but we believe we can improve and that’s a good start.”
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Reporting by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ed Osmond