Pochettino excited for the new season

By Dominique Stafford in Football

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR manager Mauricio Pochettino admits that he cannot wait for the start of the new season following the publication of the Premier League fixtures.

The fixtures for the coming campaign were released on Wednesday last week and Spurs will begin their quest to go one better than last time around – when they finished second – by making the trip to newly promoted Newcastle United on the weekend of August 12.

They then begin life at their temporary home of Wembley Stadium with a tough clash against champions Chelsea the following weekend, while another home clash follows against Burnley on the weekend of August 26 before there is a two-week gap in the fixtures for the first international break of the season.

The first north London derby of the season sees Tottenham visiting Arsenal on the weekend of Novem-ber 18, with the return fixture taking place at Wembley on February 10.

The always hectic festive period sees Spurs going to Burnley on December 24 and hosting Southamp-ton on Boxing Day before further matches at home to West Ham United on December 30 and at Swansea City on New Year’s Day.

Tottenham Hotspur round off their season by entertaining Leicester City on May 13.

But Pochettino is currently not looking further ahead than the first few matches and is expecting a tough opener against a Newcastle side who crushed Spurs 5-1 when the teams last met at St James’ Park on the final day of the 2015/16 season.

“We’re starting to prepare the

season and we cannot wait to start again,” the manager said. “This is a moment for our players to enjoy their holidays and try to recharge the batteries, but for us we’re thinking about starting the season in the best condition.

“I’m always positive about the fixtures. The Premier League is tough and we start in Newcastle. That will be exciting because it’s our first game and then our first game at Wembley is against Chelsea – I’m sure the fans will be excited for that as well.

“Newcastle is another motivation for us. The way that we finished the season before last is not too much important now but we’ll have that in our mind to motivate us and we’ll try to win. Next season will be exciting and to start at St James’ Park will be very motivating for us.”

Meanwhile, Kieran Trippier has spoken of his pride after winning his first senior cap for England in their 3-2 defeat away to France on Tuesday last week.

Trippier produced an encouraging display in what was a generally disappointing performance from England – despite two goals from Harry Kane – and he admits that he hopes he will feature many more times in the coming years.

“It was an amazing feeling being in the tunnel thinking I was about to make my debut,” he said. “I knew my parents were in the crowd and I was just thinking of them, because they have done so much for me to get where I am now.

“As soon as I saw my England shirt, knowing I was starting, the feeling was amazing. I was buzzing and so proud to wear it and to sing the national anthem with my team-mates.

“The whole experience was unbelievable. It’s always an honour to play for your country, and hopefully there will be many more.”

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