MAURICIO POCHETTINO fired the first shots in the psychological battle before Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea as he slammed football’s “artificial” clubs.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino aims dig at Chelsea ahead of FA Cup showdown

Tottenham kept the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday with a 4-0 win over Bournemouth at White Hart Lane, which reduced the gap at the top of the Premier League between the club to just four points.

But Spurs have stumbled against Chelsea too often in recent seasons, dropping two points at Stamford Bridge to hand Leicester the title last season and losing at Wembley in the 2015 League Cup final to their London rivals.

But Pochettino believes Tottenham are answering Chelsea in the right way by building gradually, bringing home grown stars like Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Harry Winks through and not relying totally on big-money buys funded by a billionaire owner.

“Our answer has been fantastic,” he said. “If you analyse where we came from, it’s a fantastic time for Tottenham. And how you build your project is important to analyse.

“Tottenham is not building now in an artificial way. It is not about putting in money, money, money, money and building a fantastic stadium and fantastic team.

“Tottenham is very genuine. It is a very natural process and it is so exciting because it is unique in the world.” Chelsea spent £120 million players last summer, while Spurs splashed out only £48m.

Posted on; Express.co.uk>>

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