Pochettino press conference: The boss speaks out on Spurs woes

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Tottenham slumped to their third successive defeat in all competitions on Tuesday, with a 2-1 loss to Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Spurs had led the tie 1-0 from the 53rd minute with a Christian Eriksen goal, and controlled the game up until the 85th.

Despite offering very little in the way on a reply, Inter Milan were handed a lifeline, as Mario Icardi hit a wonder volley out of nowhere.

Seven minutes later, Milan found the winner in the second minute of injury time, through a Vecino header, heart break for Tottenham.

This followed consecutive Premier League losses to both Watford and Liverpool, which saw Tottenham slip down to 6th place, six points behind the leaders after only five games played.

Spurs have looked far from their best, with the players seeming sloppy, lethargic and fatigued on the ball.

Despite this, Pochettino is still confident that they can turn things around, and had this to say in his press conference: “I think we were happy because the performance was good. Until 85 minutes I think the team played so well and deserved to win. But the line is so thin and that was against us.

“I think the way we conceded the first goal and at the end, I think that can happen in this situation. I’m disappointed with the result but of course happy because the team improved a lot. I think it was our best performance from the beginning of the season.

“That is a very good signal that we are in a very good way. Only we need to recover our trust and confidence, and of course winning games is the only way to recover that.”

Asked if set pieces were a problem, Poch admitted: “Yes, it’s true that we concede a lot and it’s a thing we talk a lot about. But sometimes when you talk a lot it’s like you put the focus on it, and when the moment arrives it happens again because you create like a trauma.

“We need to be strong because the games that we lose, in the way we conceded the goals, it’s so painful. But it happens in football and we need to be strong, and our belief is so important, to keep our belief. It’s sure we’re going to win games. It’s a great opportunity on Saturday against Brighton.

“I am so relaxed, I am so calm, because I know football. In the same time when you win you get a lot of praise that sometimes you don’t deserve. When you lose you must keep the balance and accept the criticism and that people are going to think differently and of course try to find the reason why we lose.

“That is how I understand football and I accept that situation. That is why the balance is so important. When you win you need to keep the balance and when you lose you need to accept the criticism and keep the balance too.

One journalist asked if it was difficult to keep the players thinking this way: “It depends on everyone. It’s impossible, everyone reads more or less, or listens more or less. Everyone is different.

“Our objective is to keep the focus and to have a very good balance in between all that appears, the perception and our reality, our reality of how we think and of how we see things. That for me for the most important. The group is ok. The group is of course a little bit anxious about winning games because it’s normal when you don’t win. The faces are different, and the atmosphere and the energy is different. That’s what happens.

“Sometimes it’s good to feel the pain, the defeat, not only the one, two but three. It’s so important to be clever and be strong. Football is like life, it’s impossible to keep 70 years of happiness. Always a period of up and downs and football is the same, up and downs, and it’s so important to learn from that period and keep calm.”

Finally, asked if he regretted not signing players, Poch responded: “I stick with the decision we have made in the past, it is easy to blame or regret different things, that is the easy think to do to escape and avoid responsibility.

“I am not going to avoid the responsibility or regret. We assess everything we do because we want to improve but the circumstances are the circumstances, the decision is the decision.

“After Manchester United it was completely different the perception and the opinions after three victories and now after three defeats it seems different but not in my eyes.”

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