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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

06 October 2018

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09/03/2019 - 19:34 BST

Realise Our Real Level – Mauricio Pochettino On Spurs Losing At Southampton

 




Mauricio Pochettino has lambasted Tottenham Hotspur’s second-half performance at Southampton and believes it is good that they are in the top four race as he feels that is his side’s real level.

Tottenham started on the front foot but Harry Kane missed two very good chances in the first five minutes to give the away side the lead. The game became scrappy in midfield and opportunities were hard to come by after the initial flurry.




Kane had a couple more shots but they didn’t hit the target and trouble Angus Gunn in the Southampton goal. Southampton defender Maya Yoshida almost scored an own goal in the 22nd minute but he was lucky that the ball only hit the woodwork.

The woodwork came to Southampton’s aid again a few minutes later when Christian Eriksen’s free kick from 25 yards hit the crossbar. But Tottenham eventually took the lead in the 27th minute when Dele Alli’s clipped ball found Kane at the back post, who took a couple of touches before firing it past Gunn in the goal.

 


Tottenham continued to look dangerous and were continuing to create chances against the Saints throughout the first half. But Southampton managed to get into the break just one goal down.

The away side started in the same vein in the second half and Kane forced Gunn into making a very good save early after the break.

 


However, Southampton started to exert some pressure on Tottenham's defence and Nathan Redmond hit the side netting from a tight angle after Shane Long found him inside the Spurs penalty box.

Long missed a chance to equalise for Southampton after the hour mark when he failed to keep his header on target. The home side continued to pile on the pressure and Redmond again found the side netting a few minutes later.

However, their pressure on Tottenham’s defence paid off when full-back Yan Valery, who scored a screamer against Manchester United last weekend, equalised for the home side in the 76th minute with a mishit after a Stuart Armstrong low cross missed three spurs defenders to find him at the back post.

And it got better for the Saints when five minutes later James Ward-Prowse, who also scored in the defeat at Manchester United, smashed in a brilliant free-kick to give the lead to the home side.

Tottenham exerted immense pressure on the Southampton defence in the final ten minutes. But the Saints managed to hold on and win back-to-back home league games for the first time in since December 2016.

Tottenham remain without a league win in their last four games, losing three of them.

Pochettino feels fighting for a top four finish is the real level of his Tottenham side and it is good that they are in the scrap as it will remove wrong perceptions about Spurs.

He also bemoaned their poor second half performance and lambasted his players for getting too arrogant after the break and losing the plot on the south coast.

Pochettino said in a press conference: “I think it’s good now [that we’re in a battle for the top four].
It's good because a lot of people now are going to realise our real level and maybe start to stop talking about the perception.

It's important now to know that we need to fight a lot until the end of the season.

We are in the Champions League but of course the Champions League can disappear quickly and the Premier League is going to give the access next season to play again if you are in the top four.

Of course I'm going to say what I said before.

"I am a little bit worried, this change too much from the first half to the second half is only one reason, it's mental.


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

Pochettino has a three-week break to ponder the form of his Tottenham side as they will not be in action until 31st March, when they will play Liverpool at Anfield.