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World Cup 2018

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Pochettino bemoans sloppy start as 'poor' Spurs slump to defeat

Mauricio Pochettino has demanded improvement after another laboured start saw his Tottenham team slip to defeat at Leicester.

Pochettino was left to rue the cost of an early goal at the weekend as Spurs' faint Premier League title hopes were dealt a blow with the loss of valuable home points with a 1-1 draw against West Brom, who took the lead after just four minutes at Wembley.

It was a similar story at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night as Jamie Vardy brilliantly fired Leicester in front in the 13th minute. Riyad Mahrez added an equally good second goal with a trademark strike just before half-time.

As on Saturday, Harry Kane scored a late goal to give Pochettino's team hope but the 2-1 defeat surely ends any chances they had of mounting another title challenge as Tottenham could be 16 points behind leaders Manchester City come this time on Wednesday.

"I think we started so sloppy, that disappointed us a lot," said Pochettino.

"We spoke a lot about starting in a better way than we did against West Brom, but again we concede a goal. Then it was difficult to play. We need to learn from this that we need to start every game with the first idea to fight and compete.

"You must compete, you must fight, you must be focused and then the quality will appear. But Leicester showed more than us. Even though we had chances to score and stay in the game, we were poor.

"I am so disappointed and frustrated because it is difficult to know why. The performance of the collective was so poor.

"If you compete and fight in the Premier League then the gap with quality is even. You cannot afford not to fight or compete and then try to go to play and win games.

"If you don't fight and compete first then you are going to struggle and today was a very clear example of the team with no fight and not competing going 2-0 down and then chasing the rest of the game.

"But we need to stay calm and trust and be ready for the next game."

Leicester continue to impress under Claude Puel and the Foxes moved into the top 10 in the Premier League with the victory.

Puel, who now has seven points from his five matches in charge, felt the win against Tottenham was the best display during his short reign as manager.

"I would say it is the best performance so far, there are encouraging signs going forward. The goals were fantastic, but not just the goals. The quality with the ball was good as well," said Puel.

"The last 10 minutes when Tottenham scored we just tried to keep the ball or counter-attack and pass the minutes without danger. It was difficult against a good team to keep this result but I think the team worked hard for each other with solidarity and desire and it was a fantastic game for us."

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