Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino left exasperated by Spurs' frailties

By Tom Allnut

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham must tighten up their defence after his side threw away a two-goal lead against Stoke.

Spurs looked on course for their first win of the season at White Hart Lane as first-half goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli put the hosts in the driving seat.

Stoke, however, pulled off an unlikely comeback as Marko Arnautovic's penalty and then Mame Biram Diouf's header ensured the points were shared.

Tottenham have now kept just one clean sheet in their last 10 matches at home.

The club have signed three defenders in the summer transfer window, with Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer all coming in, but Pochettino admits there is still work to do.

"I am disappointed," he said.

"Until the penalty it is clear we dominated the game and we created the better chances.

"The game was good for us but after the goal we conceded some chances.

"We gave them the opportunity to score and in the end it was very disappointing. My feeling is bad but this is football.

"We need to be more consistent in our performance, and our defensive work.

"We defended a lot of crosses and we need to improve in this area because it was too much in the last 10 minutes."

Tottenham dominated the opening hour of the contest but seemed to lose control after Pochettino took off Harry Kane and Ryan Mason in the second half.

The draw means Spurs have taken only one point from their first two games, having started with a defeat at Manchester United.

Mark Hughes' substitutions injected life into Stoke's attack with Stephen Ireland impressive off the bench.

Ireland provided the cross for Diouf's late equaliser and Hughes was impressed by the midfielder's contribution.

"Stephen knows how highly I value him," Hughes said.

"I probably don't show it as much as I should do in giving him appearances but I have discussions with him on a number of occasions because I feel I disappoint him too often for the talent he has.

"He's a very, very talented player. If he can lift his head he'll play intelligent balls into key areas of the field so I was delighted with what he produced at the end."

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