Pochettino : We must stay strong to get out of this mess
Mauricio Pochettino has urged his Tottenham squad to stick together and emerge stronger from their turbulent start to the season.
Tottenham had a dream start at Anfield, with Harry Kane scoring after 47 seconds, and had opportunities to end what has been dispiriting time away from home in the Premier League but, ultimately, they left Merseyside with nothing to show for their efforts.
Pochettino was visibly flat as he gave his post-match debrief. The defeat leaves Tottenham eight points behind Leicester and Chelsea, who occupy the third and fourth Champions League positions. But the manager’s first objective is to get Tottenham back into the top half of the table and find a solution to the difficulties his team are having on the road.
‘In this season we deserve more points,’ he said. ‘It’s a moment to stay strong, to keep pushing. Of course in a different season this could have finished two or three nil for us. But today it went a different way and we need to stay calm and take the best decisions for the future.
‘We have the squad and we are supporting them. After five and a half years it’s a moment to be all together and show our support.’ Mohamed Salah’s penalty proved to be the difference. The Egyptian, who was substituted late on after an ankle issue flared up, converted after Serge Aurier bundled Sadio Mane over after losing possession to the Liverpool forward. Pochettino had no inclination to argue. He said: ‘I need to accept the decision. Technically there is a contact but the ball is going away or to the side. Yes, there is an action, but it’s soft and it’s a penalty. It’s an action that happens in football a lot. It was just unlucky for us we conceded a penalty and lost the game. I’m happy with Aurier but he is not happy. Nobody is happy.’
The lack of consistency through Tottenham’s team was an issue and Dele Alli, who began brightly but faded, was the subject of stinging criticism on Sky from Graeme Souness, Roy Keane and Gary Neville, all of whom argued that the England midfielder has lost his way.
Souness said: ‘I thought he was going to be a star. But I think he’s taken his eye off the ball and is a shadow of himself.’
If Pochettino was sombre, Jurgen Klopp was buoyant after Liverpool restored their lead at the top to six points. He insisted Salah’s ankle problem was ‘nothing serious’ and hailed the way his team recovered from an early jolt.
‘The game I loved,’ said Klopp. ‘A super game, how football should look, how we should play against a really strong, good organised side.’Daily Mail