Pochettino reveals how Vertonghen is doing and why he was allowed back on the pitch

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur, unfortunately, fell to a 1-0 home defeat at their new stadium in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Ajax last night.

It was a hectic start to the match for Tottenham, as they conceded inside 15 minutes, courtesy of a Donny Van de Beek finish.

Pochettino then switched formation in order to have a flat back four, with Jan Vertonghen at left back and Danny Rose shifted into central midfield.

This improved Spurs gameplay for a period, until Poch was forced to switch things up again, subbing on Moussa Sissoko for Jan Vertonghen after the Belgian defender suffered a nasty concussion.

Upon lifting the ball into the box from a free kick, Vertonghen took a hefty knock on the head in an attempt to go for goal.

The player was then down on the ground, seemingly unconscious, for the next few minutes. Jan was then escorted off the pitch and checked over by the doctors.

After a chat with the medical team and the referee, Vertonghen was allowed to re-enter the action, but called time short himself once he felt he was not right.

Jan then stumbled off the pitch, appeared to be sick, and found it hard to stay on his feet as the medical team assisted him down the tunnel.

So, how is Jan doing, and what exactly happened down on the touchline?

Pochettino said (Football London): “Now is okay, now is good. He was walking away, was more relaxed. Hope it is not a big issue. He has walked out of the stadium now. Hope that he is well, you need to keep eyes watching him and monitor him because it was a big knock but. At the moment he is okay.

“I was not involved. That was the doctor’s decision. I think it’s so important that the rules and the protocols are there. Our medical staff followed the protocol. I was never involved. The decision was the doctor’s. The referee asked, and the action we needed to take him out because he did not feel well.

“Wasn’t my decision. For me first of all your life, we must protect the player integrity and of course I wasn’t out of the conversation, our medical staff follow the protocol and they decide that was possible to restart the game and possible to play again but of course it was Jan in that moment when the following action he starts to feel unwell and we need to change him and to put out.

“In this moment you are focused on the game and it is difficult to think too much. In this moment you must let the doctor or the medical staff do his job. Of course, I was worried that is normal because for me the most important is the health of the player before the game. In that moment for me the doctor decide it is okay. I am never going to be involved, I wasn’t in the past and I won’t be in the future. For me it is always the health of the player before the game, if from the early moment they say to me ‘change, change’ I am not going to doubt about that. For me in that type of situation, the medical staff and doctor are the boss on the decision, I only need to listen and hear what they say and take the decision. Never am I going to debate or question the decision of the medical staff.”

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