Sunday 20 October 2019

'I feel proud' - Mauricio Pochettino insists his dressing room is united after gritty win against Southampton

Tottenham 2 Southampton 1

Harry Kane celebrates scoring his side’s second goal (Yui Mok, PA)
Harry Kane celebrates scoring his side’s second goal (Yui Mok, PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted his players are united as they battled against the odds to end a miserable week with a 2-1 win against Southampton.

After Tuesday night's embarrassing Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester, Pochettino was starring at his first mini-crisis at Tottenham as he went public to highlight splits in his dressing room.

Those comments piled the pressure on last season's Champions League finalists and they responded in a fine fashion to grind out a win against Southampton despite playing with 10-men for more than a hour at a tense Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Tanguy Ndombele's goal put them in front early on, but after Serge Aurier was sent off just after the half-hour a calamitous error from Lloris gifted Southampton an equaliser through Danny Ings.

Yet Harry Kane came to the rescue as he scored a fine team goal, his fifth in the Premier League, to hand Spurs the three points that will go a long way to lifting the gloom at the club.

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was up against his former team (Yui Mok/PA)

"We are all together and we will try to fight for this amazing club together," declared a defiant Pochettino after a win that took his side back into the Premier League's top four.

Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris looks dejected after Southampton's Danny Ings scored their first goal. Photo: Reuters/Paul Childs
Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris looks dejected after Southampton's Danny Ings scored their first goal. Photo: Reuters/Paul Childs

"We saw our spirit, fighting together and we have to keep going like this now. I never have any doubts about these players, but when you are together for five years and you reach the final of the Champions League, people expect it to happen again and again, but it is not so easy to do this.

"A few months ago we played in the Champions League final, not because of luck, it was because we fully deserved to be there. 

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Tanguy Ndombele put Tottenham ahead (Yui Mok/PA)

"We cannot have changed too much in a few months. I feel proud. I was so happy for them, my players, my squad, we have unbelievable players, only we needed to recover the spirit that we showed today.

"The game was fantastic because 1-0 up and Serge sent off and we start to play with 10 men and then we concede a goal 1-1.

"Then we scored with one less and 2-1 and how we fought in the second half against a very good team like Southampton, to keep the clean sheet in 45 minutes I think showed that we have an amazing spirit, we are all together.

"That is the point to start to work and keep going and be consistent in the future.

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Serge Aurier was sent off for the hosts (Yui Mok/PA)

"Sometimes I am not happy because the players, staff and fans are affected by what happens around us. I am always in the same way. I am the same way when we qualified for the final last season as I was this week. It's all about balance.

"I am not surprised by the character of the team. We always have that character. We have amazing players and we have had a difficult period, but this is still a great team."

Pochettino also gave his verdict on Aurier's red card, as he was generous to the full-back who let his side down with two rash challenges.

"I thought it was completely unfair, but I am saying that after winning. I would have said the same if we had lost," he added.

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