Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino laments his worst day as a manager

Newcastle Utd 5 - Tottenham 1

By Mark Staniforth

Mauricio Pochettino described Tottenham's final-day capitulation at already-relegated Newcastle as his worst day in management as his side's promising season ended on a crushing low.

Two goals from Gini Wijnaldum and others from Aleksandar Mitrovic, Rolando Aarons and Daryl Janmaat - three coming after Mitrovic had been sent off for a raking challenge on Kyle Walker - saw the Magpies to an improbable 5-1 win.

Erik Lamela had replied in the 60th minute for Spurs.

The result, combined with Arsenal's win over Aston Villa, ensured Tottenham failed in their bid to finish above their north London rivals for the first time since 1995, and prompted the Argentinian to issue a damning verdict.

Pochettino said: "We showed this wasn't a team that had played well through the whole season, and I think this was my worst day as a manager.

"I feel very bad, because the worst thing is we showed we don't care about the position."

Such was the extent of Pochettino's plight he revealed he had been extended sympathy by Toon boss Rafael Benitez, despite the final whistle bringing an end to the hosts' top-flight tenure.

Pochettino admitted: "It was strange - Newcastle are relegated but he felt sorry for me."

Meanwhile, Benitez and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley opened talks last night to keep the Spaniard at the club.

Benitez was asked if the fans' reception he had received would make a difference in his decision.

"I was expecting a great atmosphere, but it has been amazing, even more positive than I was expecting," he said. "We still have to sit down. I want the best for Newcastle United and the best for me. That's simple.

"My heart is saying yes. It's a fantastic opportunity and atmosphere but you have to use your brain too."

NEWCASTLE: Darlow, Janmaat, Taylor, Mbemba, Dummett, Colback, Tiote (Shelvey, 62 mins), Wijnaldum (Aarons, 76 mins), Sissoko (Sterry, 84 mins), Townsend, Mitrovic.

Unused subs: Woodman, Cisse, De Jong, Perez.

TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Walker (Chadli, 70 mins), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Mason (Carroll, 46 mins), Dier, Son (Onomah, 46 mins), Eriksen, Lamela, Kane.

Unused subs: Vorm, Rose, Wimmer, Clinton.

Man of the Match: Georginio Wijnaldum

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Anthony Taylor


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