JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

'We didn't take it seriously': Pochettino questions sinking Spurs

Sunday, March 10, 2019, 10:08 GMT+7
'We didn't take it seriously': Pochettino questions sinking Spurs
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was furious at his side's inability to hold onto a first-half lead against Southampton. Photo: AFP

London -- Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was uncharacteristically critical of his side's mentality after throwing away a lead to lose 2-1 at Southampton on Saturday and plunge their chances of Champions League qualification into further peril.

Spurs have now taken just one point from their last four Premier League games to see their lead over Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in the fight for a top four finish diminish.

Pochettino was serving the first of a two-match touchline ban on his old stomping ground and was particularly frustrated that his side failed to build on their first-half dominance after Harry Kane's 200th career goal opened the scoring.

"It is so difficult to understand why we changed so much from the first half to the second. I am very disappointed, we were better in everything and then we lose the game," said the Argentine.

"It is about competing better for the first goal if you want to be a contender for big things.

"The second-half we did not take it seriously. I don't want to criticise too much but when you lose a game that was under control after 45 minutes, should be 3-0, 4-0 and finishes in 2-1 defeat, it is difficult to accept.

"We started to take some risks that were unnecessary and that was the main problem. It gave them belief and they started to build their game.

"When you lose the momentum after 45 minutes, that is about mentality, that is about being strong and keeping the right. For us, we lost the momentum and gave them relief."

Goals from Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse in the final 14 minutes gave Southampton a vital three points in their bid to avoid relegation.

The sloppy performance came on the back of the midweek victory at Borussia Dortmundthat secured Tottenham's place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

And Pochettino suggested his players were punished for resting on their laurels.

Arrogance

"It's about complacency. It's about arrogance in a bad way," he said.

"You use the first half like an example, playing with intention, focus, concentration, we matched them in everything and we were much better.

"In the second half it was arrogance in a bad way. I think it is a very good example for everyone of how you need to play for 45 minutes and how not to play for 45 minutes.

"That is of course the responsibility of everyone. I put myself ahead of everyone. I don't want to blame someone or the team. I want to blame all of us, the club of course."

Spurs now lead Manchester United by three points with Arsenal a point further back and Chelsea five points behind Tottenham.

However, Chelsea have two games in hand, at home to Brighton and Wolves, while United and Arsenal go head-to-head in their game in hand on Sunday.

"People talk about perceptions but we need to realise if you do not fight with intensity for the Champions League, you will struggle," added Pochettino.

"We are fighting against big sides (for the top four). We had a big gap, welcome to the reality, we are under pressure to win games. It is a massive challenge for us."

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl believes it was vital his side won to remain out of the bottom three before a period when they have no fixtures due to the FA Cup and the international break.

"It's better to go into the three weeks break with a win that keeps us over the relegation line. The last break we were below the line and that was horrible," he said.

"We lost against Man United 3-2 after we played a sensational game. We only earned warm words and I said today we need to earn more than warm words.

"It was a moment to celebrate at the end with the supporters and players but also to tell them it was only one step. a big one perhaps. But we still have a long way to go."

AFP

More

Read more

New F1 grand prix can tap into Vietnam 'passion' for racing: Todt

Todt said he hoped Vietnamese fans seeing the likes of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel battling wheel-to-wheel on the streets of Hanoi would lead to an explosion of interest in racing of all kinds in football-mad Vietnam

3 days ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news