Pochettino dismisses Neville’s ‘spineless’ comments after win at Wolves
Tottenham returned to the Premier League’s top four with victory at Molineux.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino dismissed any issue with Gary Neville’s “spineless” comments and insisted he respected the pundit after Spurs’ 3-2 win at Wolves.
Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane fired the visitors into a 3-0 lead at Molineux only for Wolves to almost snatch a point.
Penalties from Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez – after league debutant Juan Foyth conceded both spot kicks – set up a grandstand finish at Molineux as the hosts fell short.
Sky pundit Neville said after Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City Spurs had been “spineless and soft” for 30 years but, after taking them back into the Premier League’s top four, Pochettino brushed off any problem.
“I don’t understand the problem that happens with some comments,” he said, with Tottenham three points off Premier League leaders Liverpool.
“When some people make some comments you have to respect the comments. When people criticise me I accept the criticism.
“But yes, I am so happy right from the beginning. Since I arrived here we created a very good culture about fight and altogether the belief.
“It was difficult to create that but I am so happy. It is a team that is always going to give the faith in each game. We can win or we can lose but we are so intense and today the effort was fantastic.
“We came from Manchester City when we ran more than 120km and West Ham was similar and this was the same.
“That showed the team has a very strong character.”
Lamela and Moura scored within three minutes of each other in the first half before Kane netted his eighth of the season after the break.
But Tottenham lost control when Foyth brought down Jimenez and Jonny to allow Neves and Jimenez to score two penalties to make it 3-2 with 11 minutes left.
Pochettino said: “When we arrive in that situation we need to learn about how to play seriously, not make mistakes and not give opponents such poor actions that they can stay in the game.
“That is why I am happy for three points but disappointed with some of the performance.”
It was mid-table Wolves’ third straight defeat but boss Nuno Espirito Santo remained happy with his side’s commitment.
He said: “We could have got anything. We could have got what we got, or a draw or a win.
“It was a very good game of football; very emotional.
“At 2-0 the reaction was good. We were able to have a go and change and we knew one goal could change the dynamic and that is the heart of the team.
“We play football to the end, sometimes we get rewarded and sometimes we don’t.”