Tottenham must improve in last eight - Pochettino

DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur can be proud of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals after their 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund, but they must improve to take on the continent’s heavyweights, coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - March 5, 2019 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Tottenham beat the Germans 1-0 in Dortmund, which combined with their 3-0 first-leg win in London meant they eased into the last eight - despite considerable pressure from Dortmund in a one-sided first half at the Westfalenstadion.

“For me, to move to the next level or the last level, I think it is not only today to show a very professional performance,” Pochettino told reporters after the match.

“It is so important to be in the quarter-final, but you need to show more if you want to be at the next level.”

“To build that possibility to be at the same level as the clubs that we are talking about, you need to start from the first step always. We are in the middle or 70 percent of moving forward.”

Spurs, however, looked efficient and clinical over the two legs, avoiding any of the mistakes that led to a bitter exit last year at the hands of Juventus at the same stage.

“We fully deserved this. We scored four goals, did not concede and this was against a team that is top of the Bundesliga with great players.”

“Job done. I am happy for our players, for the fans, he said. “I think it was very important for us to win tonight. We suffered a bit in the first half but it is very important to be in the quarter-final.”

“We conceded more chances than we expected in the first half, but they had nothing to lose and were taking a lot of risks. It was a massive game for us, it was very tough, but I feel very proud.”

Dortmund came agonisingly close to a goal late in the first half but keeper Hugo Lloris repeatedly denied Marco Reus, Mario Goetze and Julian Weigl. Harry Kane then scored the winner for Tottenham four minutes after the restart.

“It was difficult but we started fantastic in the second half. I think in the end it’s not too much to analyse, it’s just to enjoy that we are in the quarter-final. Along with the Premier League it is the most important competition, and we need to feel proud.”

“It is about enjoying and trying to recover because on Saturday against Southampton it is going to be a big battle.”

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson