Pochettino defends team selection after \'cruel\' defeat

Pochettino defends team selection after 'cruel' defeat

Mauricio Pochettino defended his team selection after Tottenham Hotspur suffered a "cruel" 2-1 defeat by Inter Milan in their Champions League Group opener on Tuesday.

With England right back Kieran Trippier and Belgium central defender Toby Alderweireld left out of the squad for what Pochettino described as "technical reasons", it was a chance for Serge Aurier and Davinson Sanchez to stake their claims.

For 86 minutes they impressed in a measured away display and Spurs were comfortably protecting the lead given to them by Christian Eriksen's deflected 53rd-minute effort.

But all the good work went to waste as Mauro Icardi volleyed in an 86th-minute equaliser and Matias Vecino looped in a 92nd-minute winner to give the hosts the points.

Inevitably the post-match questions returned to Pochettino's decision to travel to Italy without Trippier and Alderweireld, especially as Dele Alli and keeper Hugo Lloris were also unavailable because of injuries.

"Why? They were on the pitch against Liverpool and Watford. They are easy targets," Pochettino said before losing his cool.

"We need to talk about football," he said. "You force me to say something that is not good. You disrespect the players who were here today. You can blame me on my selection of the starting 11 but please don't disrespect the players on the pitch."

Pochettino has who has now lost three consecutive matches for the first time since taking over at Tottenham in 2014, felt the defeat in the San Siro disguised what he described as their best performance of the season so far.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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