Buoyed by an opening win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, manager Mauricio Pochettino is certain his team will finish the season strong and secure a coveted Champions League berth.
"I am confident we are going to finish in the top four - no doubt. I believe in my players and trust in them," Pochettino told reporters, including the Guardian's David Hytner, following Wednesday's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. "This group of players and staff and everyone at the club deserves to be in the Champions League next season. We have worked so hard to try to deliver the move to the stadium and we are here now."
Tottenham's first match at their £1-billion stadium went according to plan. Heung-Min Son earned the honor of scoring the club's first-ever goal at the new ground, and Christian Eriksen's strike from close range wrapped up the three points.
The win - Tottenham's first in six league matches - puts them in third place on 64 points. And Pochettino expects more to follow.
"For our opponents, it is going to be so difficult here. If I am playing for Tottenham, I am so quick and fast in that atmosphere," the Argentine added. "It was impossible not to be affected by the energy. If you are not motivated to play in this atmosphere, something is not right in your head."
The new stadium was supposed to open at the start of the season, but escalating costs and safety concerns forced Tottenham to extend their stay at Wembley. Initially set at £400 million, construction costs more than doubled.
But the long wait ended Wednesday. Club chairman Daniel Levy, who spearheaded the project, watched his dream realized from his perch in the stands.