Sunday 9 December 2018

Pochettino says Juventus chiefs put pressure on ref and Spurs should take heed

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes were ended by the Italians.

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Mauricio Pochettino believes Juventus have taught Tottenham how to become specialists in success.

Spurs suffered Champions League heartache at the hands of the Serie A champions when a 2-1 defeat at Wembley on Wednesday evening saw Juventus go through 4-3 on aggregate.

Tottenham boss Pochettino said Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli and chief executive Giuseppe Marotta spent time in the tunnel before, during and after the midweek game.

And he felt the Italian club did everything in their power to ensure it was they who would progress to the quarter-finals, including attempting to put pressure on Polish official Szymon Marciniak.

The Argentinian manager thinks his Premier League team can learn from that culture.

“I think it’s a massive situation that you must learn (from). If we only see the stats from the two games, I think Tottenham was the much better team,” Pochettino said.

“It’s in the small details that the competitions sometimes demand different things.

“And I think Juventus are specialists because they have the habit to win, the habit to put pressure on the referee.

Mauricio Pochettino

“The owner stayed in the corridor in the tunnel before or during the game.

“It’s a club with a culture to do everything to try to help the team.

“Before the game it was Agnelli, after the game it was Agnelli, Marotta.

“I saw at half-time how they put pressure on the referee. I believe those details can help the club.”

After securing a 2-2 draw in Turin, Tottenham appeared on course to progress after going ahead in the second leg through Son Heung-min.

But quick-fire second-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala turned the tie in the visitors’ favour to leave Spurs to focus on the FA Cup and securing a top-four Premier League finish.

Pochettino refused to blame his side’s European exit on the behaviour of the opposition.

“It’s not because of that that we lost,” he added. “The chances that we had, we weren’t capable to score more than one goal.

“It’s a massive lesson to care not only on the pitch, but off the pitch. When you’re going to win, you need help from everyone.”

Spurs return to action at Bournemouth on Sunday and Pochettino insists they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves.

“It’s now a moment to think of the next game,” he said.

“The competition doesn’t wait for you, if you’re happy or sad, the team has to move on and think about the weekend.”

Midfielder Eric Dier sustained an elbow injury against Juventus and is a doubt for the Cherries game.

Defender Toby Alderweireld remains unavailable because of a hamstring problem, while full-back Serge Aurier is back in contention after his European suspension.

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