Eric Dier has said Tottenham Hotspur will not gain an advantage from playing their FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Wembley, their home ground this season.
Spurs reached their 21st FA Cup semifinal with a 3-0 win at Swansea on Saturday and Dier’s teammate Jan Vertongen has said playing at Wembley will “definitely help” their quest for a first trophy since 2008.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team are unbeaten in the league at the national stadium since a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in August and their only other defeats there have come against West Ham and Juventus in the League Cup and Champions League.
“The FA Cup is a completely different competition, a one-off game and the fans are split down the middle, the atmosphere will be different to a league game,” the Daily Mail quoted Dier as saying.
“The fact we played our home games there this season you would think would be a benefit for us, but it is the FA Cup semifinal so it will be hard no matter what.”
Dier, like Vertonghen, said Spurs feel at home at Wembley after initially struggling for form there.
“If you think about it, if you move house, then for a couple of weeks it feels different,” he said.
“If anyone moves anywhere, a different country or city or anything, it takes time to adjust to your new surroundings.
“Wembley was no different. After that period where we didn’t completely feel at home there, it got a lot better for us.”
Meanwhile, manager Pochettino stressed that lifting the FA Cup would not help his team to develop a winning culture.
“In the cups, you can arrive to the semifinal or final and win, like Swansea [League Cup winners in 2013] or Wigan [FA Cup winners in 2013], who were then relegated,” the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“That is not going to help create a winning mentality, to win this type of trophy.
“For me, when you are consistently winning in the Premier League or the best competition in the world like the Champions League, that helps you to create it.
“People believe you win one trophy to give to the club a different status or put the club in a different level and that is not true. Win a trophy, it’s OK, to celebrate with the fans will be a great moment.
“This type of competition is about enjoying the process and about enjoying when you lift the trophy, but it’s not going to give a different level or status as winning the Premier League or the Champions League to put the club on a higher level.”