By 90Min
October 12, 2017

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is gearing up for his toughest test of the season, with his team set to face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League next week.

After being handed the toughest of draws in the group stage, Spurs have managed to keep it together, winning both of their opening matches, against Borussia Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia.

The holders Real Madrid, though, present a different type of challenge, and Pochettino knows that the result of the match will provide him with better data to assess his team's strengths and weaknesses.

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Speaking in an interview with Cope, the Argentinian manager called on his team to be 'brave'.

"We are going to measure ourselves against the best team in the world," he said. "It is a game to be brave. It is a test that will tell us where we are."

Pochettino was also full of praise for Real manager Zinedine Zidane, whom he has been rumoured to replace on occasion. He also rebuffed the reports linking him to the Madrid job.

"What I like about Zidane is his tranquility and his common sense, he manages the bench just like when he played football," he declared.

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"I have never been close to signing for Madrid, there are rumours that you do not know where they come from."

A former manager of Espanyol, Pochettino also weighed in on the current political situation in Catalonia that has enthralled football over the last few weeks.

He said: "I feel very sorry for what is happening there, I think it has a difficult solution and I think that the dialogue should have started in other times, perhaps ten years ago, not today, I would not like to see Catalonia outside Spain. I would have trouble seeing it, hopefully everything will be solved in the best way. "

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