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"We want to be tested and see if our players can solve issues, solve problems."

19 July 2018

Blues played their third pre-season friendly on Wednesday in a behind closed doors encounter against Tottenham Hotspur.

Mauricio Pochettino fielded a strong side including Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorene.

Chris Powell went with two different XI's in each half, other than swapping Sam Mantom who played for an hour before being replaced by Michael Klass, who was his midfield partner in the first 45.

Here's what the Blues boss said following the 6-0 defeat at Spurs' training ground.

Thoughts on how the team fitted up against a strong spurs side….

I knew it would be a very tough game for us, even though they have a number of players away who have just been on World Cup duties. The side they put out in the first half compared to the side we put out we knew it was always going to be a very tall order.

It was a real good learning process for us, for inspiration and what we aspire to as an individual, team and club.

Some of Spurs’ one touch play and movement was very impressive even though it’s early on in pre-season for them but actually the players stuck at it and we made some changes, as the game went on we actually improved.

On if the team took another step forward towards full fitness….

I would never look too much into results because its more about honing what you need and looking at our defensive and attacking play then seeing whether it’s good enough and then looking to see if there’s things to work on.

The level today compared to our previous two games was off the Richter scale, but it was a learning process as we had a lot of younger players with us. For someone like Michael Klass to come in today and be up against Victor Wanyama, I am sure he will be thinking about that for a long time.

It was a good workout all round, hopefully no injuries, and good for Spurs. They have been very welcoming and for us and it’s another step forward. It’s all about Leeds and the training before that and getting that right.

How different will Leeds compare to today….

They have a new manager so they may have a different style of play but it’s about us adjusting to things if they do something that’s hurting us and we have to react quickly. Today showed us when the ball is turned over at whatever level, but especially at this level, they don’t give it back to you straight away, where we know in League One there is a lot more changes in possession.

Leeds will pose a different question to us because of their players as they are up another level from where we are right now but Spurs are obviously another level up from Leeds.

That will have been two really intense and tough games, but actually ones I want. I don’t want to be playing games where we’re winning five, six, seven nil all the time which doesn’t really help us much. We want to be tested and see if our players can solve issues, solve problems and at times we did that today but at other times Spurs showed their class.

We now move onto Leeds and we know it’s just over two weeks until the season kicks off and hopefully today is another step in the right direction in regards to our fitness and in regards to individual players getting used to how we play and the team as a whole.

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