Be optimistic, Mauricio Pochettino urges depleted Spurs ahead of Barcelona clash

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       Pochettino lost in translation

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he almost became a teammate of Barcelona's Lionel Messi at Espanyol in 2005. "As players you want to play against the best in the world and Messi is certainly that, a fantastic player, and we will do our best to stop him".

Serge Aurier, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen will join Dele Alli in missing Tottenham's Champions League clash with Barcelona - but Hugo Lloris will start on Wednesday.

That also rules all five players out of Saturday's Premier League visit of Cardiff.

"Messi sets the standard", Kane said.

"Both he and Ronaldo have reached figures of 50 goals per season and as a forward I try to do the same".

Messi has scored 103 Champions League goals, more than any other player, and has eight hat tricks in the competition.

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As a player, Pochettino turned out for Newell's Old Boys, Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux, and revealed he would like to coach where he began in the game.

Kane, who finished as the World Cup's top scorer earlier this year, is back in form, with three goals in his last two games after a lethargic start to the season.

However, Pochettino blames Fabio Capello for disrupting the move, saying the former Juventus boss' decision to praise Messi after a dazzling display in the Joan Gamper Cup encouraged Barca to hold on to the La Masia graduate. We can only focus on Barcelona and then see at the end of the season.

"It's very clear, very simple, we need to be near him when he gets the ball", he added. "We need to demand sacrifice and they will expend a lot of energy". "Every player must feel they can win and achieve what we want".

"It is a period when we are not having good luck with injuries", Pochettino said.

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