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Tottenham Hotspur's U19s have nothing to fear from Barcelona, says coach Alex Inglethorpe
They may have been the proving grounds for the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, but Tottenham U19s coach Alex Inglethorpe insists Tottenham's youngsters have nothing to fear when they take on Barcelona U19s on Thursday night.
The mouthwatering tie is part of the NextGen series that sees Spurs' future stars grouped with Anderlecht and Wolfsburg as well as the Catalan giants.
Spurs got off to a winning start in group 1 beating Wolfsburg 3-2 while Barcelona drew with Anderlecht 1-1.
Inglethorpe told the club's official website: "I’m quite sure the lads are excited by the game, it should be a great evening but we have to be careful that we don’t play the badge.
“We are going to be playing against boys who want to play for Barcelona, not Xavi, Messi and Iniesta.
“I expect they will be talented and the best that Catalan can offer, but we have to remember that we are very good as well.
"We have to be mindful that we give them the respect they are due, but we cannot be fearful of them."
The competition, which also includes the likes of Juventus, Manchester City, Inter Milan and PSG, is aimed at developing young players for the future and Inglethorpe believes the high standard of opposition teaches valuable lessons about pressure.
“The fact that the game is at White Hart Lane and fans will be coming to watch us play is great and as a professional footballer, these are the sort of things the boys have to get used to," he said.
“It’s normal for a Tottenham Hotspur player to be playing in pressure situations in front of big crowds and that’s what these guys must get used to.
"It’s a wonderful opportunity for the boys and I hope they see it is a challenge.”