Mauricio Pochetino is expecting a tough game on Sunday against Manchester United at Wembley.
Pochetino further added he hopes his side would come to the game with the right level of fitness especially after their FA Cup semi-final game against Chelsea. The Argentine is also aware of the momentum United have generated since sacking Jose Mourinho and appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an interim basis.
“It is going to be a very nice game – every time when we play it is always very exciting and very competitive. It is going to be tough, Manchester United arrive with very good momentum. They had more time to prepare for the game. If you have a clear week to work, it is different. We had the semi-final on Tuesday but we believe that we are going to arrive at the right level.” Poch told reporters.
The Argentine praised the Norwegian and revisited the most important goal Solskjaer scored for Man United against Bayern Munich in 1999 in Barcelona in the Champions League. The goal ensured the English side won the trophy to make it a treble in that season.
“We were in the Camp Nou in 1999 when he scored the second goal in injury time, that was unbelievable. We were neutral people watching a fantastic game. Twenty years ago I was shouting about a goal he scored for Manchester United – now we are going to play Manchester United at Wembley.” Pochetino added.
“The motivation always is going to be there – when you are a manager when you are a coach, you cannot be focused on all the rumours. The most important is the motivation that we have to do our job in the best way. Manchester is going to come on Sunday to try and win. For him, it is a massive challenge to manage Manchester United. Of course, always the motivation is to win because we are so competitive. In the Premier League, the motivation is always there,” the boss added.
“I think Christian is a fantastic player. We hope that Christian can commit to the club with a long term contract but in the football business, it is about timings and negotiations. He is very committed to us and I am so happy with him. You need to give him some freedom out on the pitch, you need to give. freedom and trust in him – like my dog in the park – I say go – I trust in you. I hope he signs for the long term.
“I don’t believe Mousa Dembele is going to be, I think he is not match fit. He is training with the group and I will assess him tomorrow but I don’t think he is fit enough to play. I don’t know anything about Dembele’s situation [regarding possible transfer]. [Jan] Vertonghen I need to assess – I think he is in the same position. We will see if he is fit enough.” he revealed.