Tuesday 19 March 2019

'I blame myself' - Contrite Mauricio Pochettino concedes he made a mistake in confrontation with referee Mike Dean

Mauricio Pochettino lost his cool after Tottenham's defeat at Burnley
Mauricio Pochettino lost his cool after Tottenham's defeat at Burnley
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino conceded he had overstepped the mark as he confronted referee Mike Dean following his side's damaging 2-1 defeat at Burnley.

A late winner from Ashley Barnes denied Tottenham a chance to move within two points of title leaders Manchester City, with Pochettino showing an unfamiliar lack of composure at the final whistle as he raced into the field to remonstrate with the match officials.

Referee Dean confirmed he will report the ugly incident to the Football Association and sanctions look certain to follow for Pochettino, who admitted the emotion of the moment had got the better of him.

"When you feel so disappointed and upset you make mistakes," said Pochettino. "We made mistakes on the pitch and I made a mistake to talk to referee now.

"We wanted to win, at the end there was a lot of emotion, we know how important the match was and we felt disappointment.

"We made mistake. I made a mistake. I should have gone to the dressing room and got some water. A stupid thing happens and you react. Maybe I will go and apologise to the referee.

"Now that we are all relaxed it’s difficult to explain. We cannot blame anyone. I need to blame myself. With the emotion and the disappointment I maybe crossed the line a little bit.

"There is nothing more to say. Congratulations to Burnley. We don't deserve the defeat, but that's football."

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Chris Wood of Burnley celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor

Harry Kane scored on his return to the Tottenham line-up after a spell on the sidelines with an ankle ligament problem, but the 83rd minute winner from Barnes sealed the victory for Burnley.

"It was a thorough performance and a good win. We know there's a lot of work to be done but they're certainly putting in the work," stated Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

"We're not a side who can slick it around like Man City but we have very good players. We wanted to get in behind them. I thought our front two were outstanding.

"Tottenham are a fine side and we had to find a way to deal with them, but I felt we did that all over the pitch and it was a great team display."

The defeat leaves Tottenham five points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, with Pochettino accepting his side's title hopes may now be over after a seventh Premier League defeat of the season.

"I think it's important to understand that it was a game that is important for us," added Pochettino. "I believe before the game that if you want to be a contender for the title you need three points and now it has gone.

"Today we lost because of our mistakes. We should do better and in the end, we need to blame ourselves."

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