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Pochettino to rotate Tottenham squad for APOEL game

Mauricio Pochettino

London, December 6: Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will rotate his Tottenham squad for the Champions League game against APOEL on Wednesday (December 6), with young players given a chance to shine.

Tottenham have already qualified as the winners of Group H after taking 13 points from their five group games so far, allowing Pochettino to shuffle his pack.

With Tottenham having only won one of their last five games in all competitions, Pochettino said Luke Amos and Kazaiah Sterling will be among those involved against the Cypriot side, who cannot qualify but are battling with Borussia Dortmund for third place.

Pochettino's less than cryptic clues about Tottenham's starting eleven

"Dele will start," he said. "We are going to rest some players, rotate the starting 11, but Dele is going to play. He missed three Champions League games . He needs to play. He is fresh to play.

"Kazaiah and Luke Amos, they are working very well and they behave so good. That is why they deserve , they have the quality as well in the position that we are looking to try to help the team tomorrow.

"We needed a midfielder, like Luke Amos, and another striker, like Kazaiah Sterling."

Alli's best performances this season have come in the Champions League, with the England international scoring a brace against Real Madrid and starring in a 2-1 win at Dortmund.

But the 21-year-old has only found the net once in the Premier League since August, having hit 18 league goals last season, and Alli accepted his recent domestic displays could have been better.

"I think I am my own biggest critic," Alli said on Tuesday. "Every time I know when I'm not playing well and if it's not going well for me, it's important that I keep working hard and trying every day to learn and improve as a player.

"Obviously I would like to be at my highest level in every single game and every training session but I don't think that's possible. So I think it's been a good opportunity for me to learn more about myself as a player and as a person, so I'm looking forward to it and I've got to keep enjoying it.

"It's not unusual for a team to have a dip in form. There's nothing to worry about for us. We've got a great team, a great manager, great staff, so we're looking forward to getting into the next game and getting going."

With Tottenham having taken only two points from their last four Premier League matches, Pochettino's men have fallen a massive 18 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, but the Argentine said he is not concerned about Tottenham's below-par results of late.

"No, I'm not worried because the performances were good," Pochettino said. "We are frustrated because the results are not good but it's not about the performances.

"I cannot complain about the effort or many things, only that for different reasons we have struggled to get good results in the last few games.

"We are focused on this game because it's so important to win, important to finish the Champions League well and it's so important to build our momentum again.

"As a team, we need to build another good moment and it's a good opportunity to play well and only by winning games we are going to build again our momentum."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 0:30 [IST]
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