Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino denies Spurs had one eye on Ajax clash after Hammers defeat

Spurs put in a leggy and lethargic performance as West Ham became the first opposition team to score and win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino watched Tottenham get beaten 1-0 by West Ham (John Walton/PA)
Mauricio Pochettino watched Tottenham get beaten 1-0 by West Ham (John Walton/PA)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his side did not have one eye on their Champions League semi-final with Ajax as they were beaten at their new stadium for the first time.

Spurs put in a leggy and lethargic performance as West Ham became the first opposition team to score and win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Michail Antonio’s second-half goal giving them a 1-0 success.

A gruelling fixture schedule and lengthy injury list took their toll on Pochettino’s side and it is hardly the preparation they will have wanted ahead of the biggest game in their recent history on Tuesday.

Pochettino admitted his side suffered from “stress and fatigue” but rubbished talk they were not focused on the Hammers game.

“I don’t believe, we cannot say now we were thinking about Tuesday,” he said.

“When the stress and fatigue arrived that is our reality. We are a very competitive team when we are with full energy, we are so focused.

“The stress and the fatigue arrived, we are competing with circumstances that are not the best.

“Nothing to say, the effort is there and is fantastic, but I’m disappointed with the result, because that result wasn’t in our plan, but that is football.

bpanews_d4da7ba4-1e9e-4b0e-b67d-c6dc4332aff3_embedded242547284
Tottenham’s Vincent Janssen reacts after the final whistle after Spurs are beaten by West Ham (John Walton/PA)

“I am disappointed of course because it’s a setback and we wanted to win the three points to be in our position and arrive to the Champions League game in a very good mood and way, but it wasn’t and now we need to move on.

“Now it’s not about wasting time, it’s to recover and try again Tuesday to be ready to play.”

Spurs were without key players Jan Vertonghen, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Kane for the clash with the Hammers while other injuries to squad men meant other important players had to play when they could have done with a rest.

On the prospect of Vertonghen, Winks and Sissoko playing against Ajax on Tuesday, Pochettino added: “Vertonghen for sure, Sissoko, I don’t know we will have to assess tomorrow. I think Harry Winks no.”

West Ham earned themselves a place in the record books with the maiden away victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, completing the north London double as they were also the first side to win at the Emirates Stadium in 2007.

It was also a first away win of 2019 for the Hammers, whose performance left Manuel Pellegrini reflecting on a complete performance.

“The second part of the season we have been conceding too many goals in the games we have played away,” he said.

“It was a very good performance today as a team. Maybe we have to be a little more calm when it was 1-0 to decide the game because we had three or four counter attacks at big pace, we must score.

“But I understand the pressure, this rivalry in London, the fans are just happy to win. It is not easy, they are a good team but yes for me it was a complete performance.

“If you review our games against the big six, Arsenal we played well in both, Manchester United also.

“Against Chelsea most part of the second half of the second game, at home we played well.

“Against Tottenham we lost 1-0 at home but also a very tight game, today we won. We demonstrate that we are able to play as a big team and they must demonstrate that they are better.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph