February 9, 2019 / 1:21 PM / 8 days ago

Soccer: Pochettino adamant Tottenham shift to new stadium this season

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino wants the club to move to their new stadium this season and will accept responsibility if it upsets their momentum towards the end of the Premier League campaign.

General view of fans making their way to Wembley Stadium Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - Dec 29, 2018. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/Files

Tottenham’s north London derby against Arsenal in March will be played at Wembley Stadium as the club still awaits safety certificates on its new ground.

The London club will have only five home fixtures after the Arsenal clash to host a game in their new 62,000-seater ground and Pochettino is adamant they should not wait until next season to move.

“My opinion is move... I take the risk and move. I am brave,” Pochettino told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s league clash with Leicester City at Wembley.

“If we can play one or five games, I want to move. If the club or (chairman) Daniel (Levy) ask me on the final decision, my final decision is to move to play there. Today they know I want to move.

“But today is only an opinion. If the moment arrives to make the final decision, it’s not a problem. I am going to say yes to move and be responsible and get the blame, it’s not a problem.”

Pochettino said that opposition clubs preferred to play against his team at Wembley, where attendances have dipped in some matches this season.

“When you have the capacity of 90,000 and you play in front of 30,000 I think it’s a massive advantage for the opponent,” Pochettino added.

“If you remember the last season at White Hart Lane and compare it to last season, Wembley, our record is not as good. I always prefer to play at home and in my stadium and my house.”

Tottenham, third in the league, have used Wembley for league games since last season after the historic White Hart Lane ground was demolished at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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