Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino hails Sheffield United’s ‘rugby team’ spirit

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has labelled Sheffield United a “rugby team” ahead of their visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday.

But before Blades fans could take offence over more cliches about the physicality and long-ball tactics that belonged to a previous era of Sheffield United’s history, the Tottenham manager made it clear he meant the comparison to be a completely positive one.

“What impressed me the most is the belief, the togetherness, and spirit like a rugby team that fights for each other,” Pochettino said. “That is fantastic to see in a football team.

“They have a good squad, great organisation, great manager and I think to fight for each other, they have good players of course, that is the key for Sheffield United and that’s why they are doing so well, with so many points.”

Tottenham go into the game against Sheffield United still looking to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since April. Certainly, Pochettino hopes he can keep the momentum of the 4-0 win against Red Star in Belgrade going.

“It was a difficult game,” he said. “The result makes it look easy, but in different periods, we nearly conceded. They hit the post, there was an unbelievable save from Paulo Gazzaaniga that could change the game.

“Always you need luck to score first and then you have the capacity to control the game.

“I was happy after Everton, even though we drew, and after Red Star – but tomorrow we need to finish winning. It will be tough.”

Tottenham are still without Jan Vertonghen, Erik Lamela and Hugo Lloris for the visit of Sheffield United.

Vertonghen and Lamela (both hamstring) will not be fit until after the international break while Lloris (elbow) will not play until 2020.

Spurs can call on Son Heung-min after his red card at Everton last week was rescinded.

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