Mauricio Pochettino: 'Winter break would help English clubs in Europe'

Mauricio Pochettino the Spurs manager celebrates his team's goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at Boleyn Ground

Current holders Real Madrid are also one of Spurs' opponents and are expected to be one of the two teams who progress from Group H. In theory it should be Real Madrid first and the others trying for second, but football is not about theory.

"We know very well what the competition demands from you, and we need to be ready to compete at a higher level". Dortmund are a great team but in our mind our mentality is to win and be aggressive from the start.

Last year, their group would not have looked out of place in the Europa League but they were beaten 2-1 by Monaco in the opening match, their first at Wembley, and never recovered, losing to Bayer Leverkusen at the national stadium before slipping to another defeat in Monaco.

"In Italy, France and Spain, the Champions League is the most important competition, but in English culture, it is the Premier League".

"When you are here the players want to fight to try to win it, maybe because we are not in (mainland) Europe".

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"We've got to play our game".

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that English clubs are struggling in the Champions League because they prioritise winning the English Premier League (EPL) title instead.

Perhaps more crucially, Dele Alli will begin serving a three match ban earned via a red card for violent conduct in last season's Europa League Round of 32 tie against Gent.

He said: "Last year we got off to a bad start, which didn't help us".

Pochettino's bench at Everton was as strong as it has ever been, boasting Mousa Dembele, Harry Winks and new signings Fernando Llorente and Serge Aurier, and the deadline day arrivals will provide valuable experience of playing in the competition. It would be good if we could score there and, in an ideal-case scenario, get some points on the board.

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