MAURICIO POCHETTINO knows having the “best stadium in the world” will not stop Tottenham losing their best players.
Tomorrow’s crunch clash at Liverpool is Spurs’ last before finally moving in to their new £850million North London home.
They face Crystal Palace on Wednesday — six-and-a-half months after they were originally due to face Jurgen Klopp’s Kop squad in the opener at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But boss Poch admits footballers want huge pay cheques rather than shiny new grounds.
He said: “You must convince people to stay or sign for your club and, of course, the new stadium makes Tottenham more attractive today.
“Five years ago, when I we arrived here, everyone said if we want to attract better players or keep our best players you need to play in the Champions League. But, in the end, that was wrong.
“Football is changing and there aren’t too many romantic people in business like they were 30 years ago.
“There are a lot of people around that care more about the business rather than the capability to be in a very good place.”
Poch watched last Sunday’s first test event at the 62,062-seat arena involving the club’s Under-18s.
But he will miss tonight’s second test — a Legends XI against Inter Milan — as he prepares for tomorrow’s trip to Anfield.
Spurs went into the international break on their worst run under Poch, having failed to win in four games. That has allowed Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea to close the gap in the four-horse race for two Champions League spots.
Pochettino, 47, pinpointed Spurs’ 2-1 defeat at Burnley on February 23 as the moment it all started going wrong and that stretch of four league games without a win has seen their ten-point lead on bitter rivals Arsenal cut to just one.
Poch said: “Before the Burnley game we were playing every two or three days. Then we had a week where we didn’t play and it was like we disconnected.
“Everyone believed we needed to breathe and rest but it affected us a lot in our heads.
“It’s not about the energy or the legs, it is about the mental connection in the team.
“Now it makes it more difficult to connect again and perform in the way we want to perform.
We’re going to play in the best stadium in the world and everyone deserves for us to be at our best.
“That’s our job and that’s in our capacity to try and reconnect. The motivation is massive.
“We’re going to play in the best stadium in the world and everyone deserves for us to be at our best.”
Fans’ joy at seeing their new stadium up and running will be matched by relief after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment at Manchester United.
Zinedine Zidane returning to Real Madrid earlier this month means that two big jobs Poch was linked with are both now filled.
Poch laughed off the “rumours” but admits in football you have to think short-term.
He said: “In my mind, always I’m living like today can be the last day, tomorrow can be the last day. That’s my philosophy.
“A player can say, ‘OK, I’ll be here for five years’. But a manager, no . . . because he can be sacked tomorrow.”
Tottenham have won just once in their last 24 visits to Liverpool and kept just one clean sheet in their last 33 away games against their Premier League ‘Big Six’ rivals.
But Dele Alli believes moving into the new stadium could be just the kick up the backside Spurs need going into the final eight games of the season.
The England playmaker, 22, said: “We’ve had a few tough games and results, so maybe a change is what we need at this point of the season.
“It’s a difficult point of the season, every game is massive.”
Dele got his first look inside the completed ground this week, including the massive “Wall” — the home end which holds 17,500 fans.
He said: “It’s amazing and we’re all very excited, we’ve been waiting for this for a long time. It’s finally come.
“I can’t wait to see that stand behind the goal full — and hopefully score in front of it.
Latest Tottenham news
“That would be an amazing feeling, but I’d prefer to be 3-0 up at half-time in the Palace game and put on a show for the fans.
“It still has the same feeling of when I was playing at White Hart Lane.
“There were a lot of memories at White Hart Lane, hopefully we can make some better ones here.”