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Pochettino unhappy with Ajax's "unfair" advantage

By Opta

London, April 27: Mauricio Pochettino believes that Ajax may have an unfair advantage after the Eredivisie postponed the round of fixtures prior to Tuesday's (April 30) Champions League semifinal.

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced on April 18 that it would reschedule the league's entire fixture list for the weekend of April 27-28 in order to boost Ajax's chances of progression.

Tottenham, however, have not had the same treatment, although their match with Bournemouth before the second leg has been moved forward to May 4, and they face West Ham on Saturday.

And while understanding that it would be difficult for the Premier League to accommodate an entire round of fixture changes, Pochettino believes that Ajax could now have the edge.

"I know the Premier League and the FA tried to help us to prepare the semi-final," Pochettino told a news conference.

"The Premier League is completely different to the Dutch league. Football in Europe is completely different to England.

"The fact or the reality is they're going to have more time to prepare and avoid risk.

"You can always have some problems. But it's not a complaint. Only the fact is that I think it's not fair. Like it would be if it was the opposite.

"If we had one week to prepare the semi-final and Ajax played Saturday, it would be the same in my mind. I don't want to create a debate but the fact is, playing a Champions League semi-final, I think both teams should have the same time to prepare.

"It's always better to have time, [for them] to focus on Tuesday's game against Tottenham because you're not preparing for a league game.

"That is an advantage, sometimes yes, sometimes it's a disadvantage because you have too much time to prepare. I will tell you after the game. What is true is the reality is or the fact is they are going to avoid risk, we are going take risks."

Despite his concerns, Pochettino affirmed that his side will not lose focus on the top-four race when they take on the Hammers.

"It is an emotional game because it is against West Ham," he added.

"But that is why it is so exciting, we're so motivated. It's a massive challenge for us. We are going to be competitive, we're not going to complain."

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Story first published: Saturday, April 27, 2019, 0:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 27, 2019
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