Tottenham will stay at Wembley for Europa League - Pochettino
LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur will continue to use Wembley Stadium for their Europa League home ties if they qualify for the competition, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday.
Defeat away to Monaco on Tuesday ended Tottenham's hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League but they will fall into the Europa League if they avoid defeat by CSKA Moscow in their final home match on Dec. 7.
Their Champions League campaign was scuppered by defeats at Wembley to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen when, despite record crowds of 85,000, Tottenham produced lacklustre displays.
They had chosen to play their Champions League matches at Wembley because of a reduced capacity at their White Hart Lane ground caused by building work on an adjacent new stadium.
Pochettino refuted suggestions that they would now revert to White Hart Lane for the lower-profile Europa League.
"The player needs to focus on playing. We will play the Europa League in Wembley and we need to make it our home," Pochettino told reporters at a news conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at Chelsea.
"Next season we need to play 19 league matches there and Cups and we need to make it our home. This is a great opportunity to do that. We will play at Wembley."
With White Hart Lane being demolished next season and Tottenham hoping to move into their new 60,000-seater stadium in 2018-19, the club have agreed a deal to use Wembley next season as their home ground.
They will have to hope their form improves there.
They have lost their last six competitive matches at Wembley and have not won there for eight years when they beat Chelsea in the League Cup final.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)