The Spurs boss was responding to the questions regarding his team selection following the defeat to Inter Milan in the Champions League.
Tottenham Hotspur were in the lead through a Christian Eriksen strike post a display of football Mauricio Pochettino described as probably one of their best this season. But the two goals from Inter Milan in the final 10 minutes changed the result and the vibe for the Argentine coach.
Mauro Icardi equalised with an unstoppable 25-metre volley with five minutes left before Matías Vecino headed in a stoppage-time winner following a corner. Pochettino then lost his temper when asked about his decision to rest defenders Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld.
“You disrespect the players that showed better qualities than the opponent,” he replied.
“When my decision is to play with 11, you must respect my decision because I am the manager. It’s so painful to hear when some people are not here and you judge in that way.”
The inclusion of these defenders may surely have changed the face of the result.
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“It’s so cruel,” Pochettino said. “The team deserved much more and I think that was our best performance since the start of the season. The only way back to winning games is to play in the way we played. It’s not about learning and working on the training ground – you need luck, too, and the right decision at the right moment,” as reported by Fox.
“I understand football and I understand tough periods can arrive. After our win at Manchester United, I said: ‘Be careful.’ And afterwards, a tough period arrived, starting at Watford. The most important thing is to be strong and we are strong. We’ve shown tonight we will be the same as in the past.
The reaction online was all too predictable too, with Spurs fans left in disbelief and followers of their rival mocking Tottenham over their latest ‘bottle job’.
Spurs v Chelsea Europa League Final. Calling it.
— George Benson (@MrGeorgeBenson) September 18, 2018
— Alex Segal (@Alex_Segal) September 18, 2018
Another year, another edition of the Spurs bottle job. pic.twitter.com/Te6iC5G9rF
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) September 18, 2018
Spurs have to play three games in England before their next UEFA Champions League fixture at home against Barcelona on 3rd October. Last season in the group stage, Spurs beat the eventual winners Real Madrid three goals to one in Wembley.