We didn’t respect the plan – Pochettino

PIRAEUS, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 17: Mauricio Pochettino manager of Tottenham Hotspur speaks during a press conference on the eve the UEFA Champions League group B match between Olympiacos FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Karaiskakis Stadium on September 17, 2019 in Piraeus, Greece. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has expressed disappointment at his side’s 2-2 draw against Greek giants Olympiakos last night.

The Spurs boss saw his side give up a two goal lead in what was a thrilling Wednesday night encounter, Tottenham drew first blood through a perfectly hit penalty kick by Harry Kane in the 26th minute.

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Lucas Moura extended the visitors lead with a stunning strike from outside the 18 yard box in the 30th minute.
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Things were going according to plan until the Greeks broke down Spurs defense through an explosive racing goal by Daniel Podence towards the end of the first half.

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It didn’t take long in the second half before Olympiakos were awarded a spot kick which was clinically dispatched by French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena to restore parity.

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Pochettino however made his criticism known after the match. “I feel very disappointed,” the manager said. “In the first half, I wasn’t happy with the performance. From the beginning we had a plan, and we didn’t respect the plan. That’s what disappointed me the most. I told them at half-time. We scored two good goals but if you analyse the performance only, it wasn’t great.

“We conceded a lot of chances and the way we conceded the first goal was so painful. We didn’t translate from Saturday [in the 4-0 home win over Crystal Palace] the aggressivity that is needed in these games. We were a little bit better in the second half, but conceded a very soft penalty.”
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Pochettino was asked about the similarities to the Arsenal game. “It’s easy to explain. When we don’t show the intensity that the competition demands, we struggle. We are not talking about the quality of players. We are talking about focus, concentration, anticipation. How many times did we anticipate the action? How many times were we not productive like we were against Palace?

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“It’s not about tactics or quality players but the level of fight. You need to match the opponent in aggressivity, excitement, motivation. That is the first demand – you need to work. It’s not only the responsibility of one person; it’s everyone’s responsibility.

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“It is not possible how we started tonight and it is a massive difference to Saturday. It’s a massive disappointment. We can talk about scoring twice and playing better second half, but this season we are conceding a lot of chances and a lot of goals. We need to change that. The only way is to be more demanding. Training needs to be harder. Psychologically harder.”

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