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What The Spurs Are Saying: Everyone (bar Mark Lawrenson) expects a routine win for Spurs!

Each week Roker Report wakes with the sweats wondering what the opposition is saying about us. Today it's Mauricio Pochettini and his Tottenham Hotspur side - and they all seem to feel this should be a fairly routing victory for the team sat 3rd in the Premier League table.

Tottenham Hotspur v Wycombe Wanderers - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

The Manager

Mauricio Pochettino is fully focused on the task of arriving in Sunderland and taking away three points this evening, something that most people appear to think will happen with consummate ease.

Talking to the press ahead of the game, Pochettino said:

We have to be aware of the pressure that we need to win, we need to keep the three points because at the end of the season we need to fight for big things. It will bring us the possibility to improve our position and to be near the top of the table. So this is a very important game.

Spurs have an incredibly strong squad in comparison with ourselves and their manager has suggested that, with Middlesbrough to play on Sunday, he'll rotate his side slightly in order to keep his side fresh, remarking that 'they are not machines'.

As with every time an opposition manager is asked about their upcoming game with Sunderland, Pochettino was no exception when he gave some time to talk about Jermain Defoe - who it is fair to say is just about the only Sunderland player that the Tottenham manager has to worry about.

He said:

When he was back from Toronto, he asked to train here to keep his fitness. That moment wasn’t a situation to consider signing him — then he moved to Sunderland and now he’s doing a fantastic job.

He’s a very good striker with lots of experience and great movement. The ball may well be too far from his position but he is involved and is clever, he is ready to run forward.

Imagine if he had signed for Spurs instead of us two years ago? Urgh - it doesn't bare thinking about.

The Player

Gary Doherty scored two goals for Spurs against Sunderland in 2001 at the Stadium of Light as his side came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and, with that in mind, he's been wheeled out to give the usual pointless soundbites ahead of tonight's game.

Sunderland v Tottenham x Gary Doherty scores for Spurs v Sunderland

Pressed in to giving his most honest thoughts about this evening's fixture, the former Republic of Ireland forward told tottenhamhotspur.com:

I like watching Tottenham away. They seem to play with a lot of energy, they’re very good on the counter-attack and obviously fantastic defensively so they’re pretty much made up as the perfect away team. I would imagine it will be hard for Sunderland to be honest but you never know – we’ll see how it goes.

Quite.

The Pundit

Forever miserable BBC pundit and ferret-head Mark Lawrenson shocked the football world yesterday when he boldly predicted that free-scoring Spurs would not only fail to score against Sunderland's pathetic defence but would also lose the game 1-0.

Speaking in his predictions on BBC.co.uk, 'Lawro' remarked:

Tottenham were given a scare by Wycombe in the FA Cup but then Mauricio Pochettino did make a few changes with this game in mind.

They are on a great run, but I actually think it will be difficult for Spurs to adjust when most of their regulars come back into the team.

Sunderland did not have a game at the weekend so they will be ready for them, and I am going for a bit of a shock result here.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love for Mr Lawrenson to be right in this instance, but he's off his frigging head, isn't he?

When posting claims such as these the beeb might want to reconsider the artwork that they use at the top of their articles - people might think that they're on a bit of a windup.

The Fans

I took a venture over on to the Fighting Cock forum, a website for Tottenham Hotspur supporters, to see how they were feeling ahead of this evening's game.

One poster, called Vee Gee, seems fairly confident about his club's chances of getting a win this evening at the Stadium of Light, remarking that the loss of Patrick van Aanholt should give them some mild relief:

Van Aanholt always had a decent attacking game v us. He's gone. We need to score first half and they will have to leave themselves vulnerable to counter attack. So, take the chances we get and we'll be ok.

Another poster named '1882' has bemoaned the fact that Spurs have to travel all the way up Norf for a midweek game.

As amazing as the away support will be tonight... I can't help but think that Sunderland on a Midweek night, for a London/SE Club is taking the piss a bit from the FA... People won't be getting back 'till 2/3am in many cases...

The poor dears! That's how it feels to be a Sunderland supporter most weeks, marra. It must be nice having nearly half of your away games across the season a short trip on the London Underground away - I think you can bare an away trip up to Sunderland on a Tuesday night as a one-off.

The rest seem fairly confident that this will be a routine win for the Spurs, like most people (unless you are Mark Lawrenson) do, with many feeling that Christian Eriksen will keep up his fantastic scoring record against us by getting another one or two tonight.

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