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Mauricio Pochettino to reward Tottenham players with time off after Champions League win

Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs manager
Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs manager

Mauricio Pochettino will reward Tottenham's players with some time off after they put one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Spurs produced a superb second-half display at Wembley on Wednesday evening to build a commanding 3-0 lead ahead of their last-16 second leg with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

The north London club, who travel to Germany for the return match early next month, do not have a fixture until February 23 having been knocked out of the FA Cup.

Manager Pochettino intends to use the break to go abroad, while his squad will also be given time away from football after he described them as "heroes".

"The players deserve all the credit because they were fantastic. They win the possibility to have a few days off," he said.

"I cannot tell you (my plans) but I am going to be out of England."

He added: "With all the circumstances we have, the team is fighting, the team is getting results. I feel so proud for that. My players are heroes."

Spurs were once again without injured England duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli for the Dortmund clash and recovered from a below-par first-half performance to run out resounding winners.

Second-half strikes from Son Heung-min, Jan Vertonghen and substitute Fernando Llorente did the damage.

Despite the healthy advantage going into the second leg on March 5 at Westfalenstadion, Pochettino also warned that progression is far from assured.

"It's only the first leg, it's only the first half of the tie - 3-0 is a very good result but when you have a team like Borussia Dortmund, always you need to respect and we need to think that we need to go to Dortmund with the idea to win," said the Argentinian.

"We are happy now but still a lot of work to do."

Dortmund have now gone four games without victory in all competitions, although they remain five points clear of German champions Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Head coach Lucien Favre insists he is not overly concerned by the club's recent form.

"I haven't got any particular worries," he said.

"You have phases like that when it's difficult and things don't run as they should do."

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages
1

Paper Talk: No Rash decisions

Man United will have to boost Marcus Rashford's wages significantly if they're to stave off interest from Spain - don't miss a bumper edition of Paper Talk.

We celebrate the best bets that have come in over weekend2

Weekend Winners: Bacon jokes

Value Bet tipster Ben Linfoot warmed up for Royal Ascot with a juicy 10/1 winner on Saturday while there were big wins at the weekend for a couple of Sky Bet customers.

Sporting Life picks out the top five events or fixtures of the week3

Five for the week: June 17-23

Our 'Five for the Week' looks ahead to another huge week of sport with Royal Ascot, the Cricket World Cup and French Grand Prix some of the highlights.

Will hosts Brazil lift the Copa America?4

Copa America fixtures, results, tables

The fixtures, results, tables, kick-off times and TV guide for the 2019 Copa America, which takes place in Brazil from June 14 to July 7.

Maurizio Sarri5

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