Pochettino: Spurs failed to show they are contenders

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham fell to a 2-1 defeat to Burnley in what was a must-win game if they were to keep up with Liverpool and Man City in the title race.

If Jurgen Klopp’s side are victorious against Manchester United tomorrow they could potentially go eight points clear of Tottenham.

The title was always going to be a long shot realistically as, given Man City’s and Liverpool’s form, Spurs would have needed to win all their remaining games to have a shot at the prize.

However, the team did come into the game with renewed optimism on the back of a 10-day break after thrashing Dortmund 3-0. Additionally, star striker Harry Kane was back in the starting line up after being out for over a month with an ankle injury.

A win today would have put cut the gap with Liverpool down to two points and would have put the Reds under massive pressure before they travel to Old Trafford tomorrow.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino certainly rued the opportunity that Spurs missed to show that they were real contenders.

Speaking to Football.London, the manager said: “I think it was a fantastic opportunity for us to be a real contender and to show everyone that we deserved to be there. If you come here and in the end you are not capable of winning then of course you cannot justify your defeat or say you are not a contender because something is outside of our environment.

“The most important thing is to see inside yourself, we need to improve, we need to defend better, we need to play better, we need to be better in possession, we need to improve our quality, we need to be stronger.”

The 46-year-old admitted that Spurs were never truly in control of the game.

He added: “When you play a team like Burnley it’s very clear the transitions, the long ball in behind our back three, playing with two strikers that are so strong. I think it was never under control the game, then we conceded and we scored and in the end never was it a game that we could say we had it under control.

“Okay we had the possession, we created more chances than Burnley but it’s not enough. At this type of level if you want to be a contender you have to come here and show your credentials and say ‘we are here because we deserve it and we are going to be real contenders’. That didn’t happen and we need to find why, inside not outside.”

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