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Pochettino offers to meet referees in bid to improve VAR technology

By Declan Warrington

Mauricio Pochettino is willing to discuss Video Assistant Referee technology with English football's authorities as criticism of the system grows.

After Wednesday's 6-1 defeat of Rochdale in the FA Cup, the Tottenham manager labelled VAR's influence "embarrassing" when, among its many lengthy interventions, what appeared to be a legitimate goal by Erik Lamela was disallowed, and Lucas Moura was denied a penalty.

His full-back Danny Rose similarly described it as "complete nonsense", but the respected Pochettino is happy to talk to referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Limited about how the system can be improved.

"If the people in charge want to talk with us, we are of course open to help the VAR," he said ahead of today's fixture with Huddersfield.

"I think many things, but I'd prefer to talk to the people in charge than to express my opinions in public.

"The first half was a bit embarrassing. It didn't help football or the spectacle. We can do better: we can help.

"Maybe it's a rush to take a decision (to use VAR in the Premier League) for next season here. We need to try to help, and assist the referees, and not lose time or stop games in the way it was on Wednesday."

Spurs are hoping to strengthen their pursuit of a top-four finish against Huddersfield today.

They remain without Toby Alderweireld, owing to a hamstring injury that means he is likely to miss Wednesday's Champions League fixture with Juventus, but fellow defender Jan Vertonghen is again in contention following an ankle problem.

"We need to be cautious with Alderweireld, we need to assess every day," Pochettino said. "I don't believe he can be ready for Juventus, but I'm happy because Jan can be back again, and maybe is available (for Huddersfield).

"Huddersfield is the most important game for us - it's an important three points in the battle for the top four. We cannot think of the game after."

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