“My behaviour was public, and now I want to apologise in a public way. I need to apologise to him and all of the officials,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said about his confrontation with referee Mike Dean. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino humbly chastised himself for unacceptable behaviour towards referee Mike Dean and accepted the misconduct charge levelled at him by the Football Association (FA) on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old Argentinian said, having watched replays of his heated exchange with Dean following the 2-1 defeat by Burnley on Saturday – highly damaging to his side’s title hopes – he could offer no defence.   

“Watching my behaviour afterwards on video, I need to accept the charge from the FA,” said Pochettino, who is usually one of the calmer managers prowling the touchline.

“I need to apologise to Mike Dean, I cannot behave in that way. It is not the way to behave, and I am going to accept the charge.

“My behaviour was public, and now I want to apologise in a public way. I need to apologise to him and all of the officials.”

Pochettino would not reveal what Dean had said to him during their confrontation following the defeat.

That left third-placed Spurs on 60 points, five points behind Manchester City and six adrift of leaders Liverpool.

All three sides have played 27 games – Spurs are away at a crisis-ridden Chelsea on Wednesday, whilst City host West Ham and Liverpool are at home to an in-form Watford side.

“No, all that happened on the pitch stays on there,” he said. “I think that is the most important, we need to accept that we are with our emotion.

“For me, it’s not important, I don’t take it personally.

“When your heart rate is so high, you need to be careful how you take words. All that happened on the pitch, I’ll never translate off it.”

AFP