LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said there will be no repeat of the “Battle of the Bridge” in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea at Wembley.
Pochettino said he and his team had matured since Tottenham’s implosion in last season’s title run-in, with their 2-2 draw from 2-0 up at Chelsea, in a match littered with yellow cards, confirming Leicester as champions.
The manager has admitted his team, who had eight players booked, “crossed a line” in that match.
But as he prepared to face Chelsea at Wembley, he said he felt he had matured because last season’s title race “was a good experience for me here in England.”
Pochettino added: “The reality was that it was my first time as a manager fighting for the Premier League.
“I prefer to win, not to fight against relegation with Espanyol or Southampton, like in my first season [at St Mary’s]. I enjoy it more than to play not to go to the second division.
“Because we are so open in our minds always, every day is a good opportunity to learn. With one year more, I can tell you that I have more experience and I think I have a little bit more knowledge about life and football.
“For all the team, it was a new experience to fight for the Premier League. I think we played more with our emotions than with our heads. It’s true that now the players are more mature, I am more mature, we are all more mature.
“We learned a lot from that experience and now we are focused on trying to be better, to push ourselves to be better.”
Dan is ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.