No regrets for Pochettino after ‘bad day at the office’

Date published: Friday 11th March 2016 10:48

Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino is confident Tottenham’s 3-0 Europa League thrashing at the hands of Borussia Dortmund will not affect his side’s Premier League title challenge.

Dortmund’s domination at the Westfalenstadion leaves Tottenham with a mountain to climb in the second leg at White Hart Lane but also means they are now winless in three, following last week’s loss at West Ham and the draw with Arsenal.

A trip to bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa on Sunday offers the perfect chance to bounce back as Spurs look to close a five-point gap behind league leaders Leicester.

“I am not worried, I know the circumstances,” Pochettino said.

“We need to accept some periods during 10 months that we will have good and bad times. We have always had things good.

“It has only been in the last few games not so much. The players are very sad but we have to take the positives.

“We have a big challenge against Aston Villa on Sunday. We are in a very good position in the league and we will do our best.”

Harry Kane was left on the bench in Germany as Pochettino played Nacer Chadli up front, Ryan Mason and Tom Carroll in midfield and handed 18-year-old Josh Onomah only his fourth start of the season.

The decision to rest some of his top players, with Mousa Dembele on the bench and Eric Dier left at home, backfired as Marco Reus’ double and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s header all-but ended Spurs’ hopes of progress.

“No regrets,” Pochettino said. “I’m very disappointed with the result but we didn’t have a very good day. It was a bad day in the office.

“When we analysed the squad and picked the starting XI we tried to win the game. It started okay but it was a really bad day for us.”

Sitting second in the table, Tottenham will hope to face similar opposition in the Champions League next season.

But while similarities were drawn between the two sides’ style of play, league position and low-budget squads before kick-off, Dortmund demonstrated Spurs still have a way to go to compete with the European elite.

“I think they had a good experience but we spoke yesterday and I told them that to play at the next level you compete with teams like Borussia Dortmund which is a real test,” Pochettino said.

“It was good for us to feel what a game in the Champions League feels like.

“It was disappointing because the result was bad but to build a group for the next few years to compete at the level that Borussia Dortmund is very difficult.

“We were disappointed but it was a very good test for us to compare the level.”

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