FA’s Harry Kane tweet ‘embarrasing’ according to Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino on the touchline and Manchester United manager Jose Mo

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino on the touchline and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (background) during the FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Spurs boss reflected on the FA’s tweet poking fun at Harry Kane, his own comments from Saturday evening and the mentality of the squad

Mauricio Pochettino has slammed the FA for a tweet which poked fun at Harry Kane in the wake of Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, branding the joke “embarrassing”.

Following the match at Wembley, a tweet from the official FA Cup Twitter feed asked “What’s that in your pocket Chris?” and a video clip of Man United defender Chris Smalling saying “Harry Kane” in a previous interview.

Pochettino today voiced his surprise that the national governing body would make fun of an England player, especially with a World Cup on the horizon – and he says the jibe upset Kane too.

“For me it was embarrassing and it was a shame because the FA is English football, and a potential captain at the World Cup, Harry Kane… It was very difficult to understand,” he said. “It disappointed me that this situation happened. Then of course they apologised after a few days I think.

“Always from day one when I arrived in England I say we need to protect our assets, our English players, the young players. We need to give them belief, we need to teach them, to educate, and this type of situation disappointed me a lot.

“Harry was very sad of course. But he’s strong in his mind. He moves on and of course we’re going to help him. We’re helping him to move on about that situation. It was a mistake and he needs to move on quickly and not think about what happened in the next few days or the next week.”

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Pochettino was forced to clarify a comment of his own as well during Friday’s press conference.

The Argentinian stated after Spurs’ semi-final defeat that “Tottenham need more time, with me or with another” – hinting at a future away from the club.

Asked today what he meant by that remark, Pochettino said: “The problem is the context of the question. I am going to say the same - Tottenham is doing a fantastic job, developing an amazing project.

“Only I wanted to tell you that it’s a long-term project that is not going to change with us or another coaching staff. But it’s because it’s so strong, the project at Tottenham.

“It’s not a message to send to someone. Only it was the context of the question and I explained - the project is so strong and we believe in this project. The club cannot behave like different clubs.

“We are creating a very good mentality, to try to win. First of all [the target] was to reduce the gap with the top four. Many things we are doing fantastically. But it doesn’t mean not with me, because I still have a three-year contract.

“What I wanted to explain after a very frustrating afternoon when we were all excited to play the semi-final and go to the final was that the project cannot change, because of what the club believes.

“Everyone believes that we are building a different thing. We cannot compare with another club. Only I want to translate that we need time - we need time to achieve all that we want. The good thing is that we are competing with the top sides that choose different ways to build that success.

“Like I told you before, I work in every single project like I’m going to be here for life. I just wanted to translate that the club is in the right way. We cannot compare [with others] but we need time to win.

“I think it’s an exciting project at Tottenham, different to other clubs. I still have a three-year contract. Then the decision is for the club, the owner of the club, or my boss Daniel Levy to trust or not trust in myself.”

Asked whether there is a problem with the mentality of Spurs’ players when it comes to the biggest knockout ties, Pochettino replied: “A lot of topics you can blame in football when you lose - the tactics, the selection, the approach of the game, the mentality. In the end when you lose you lose. Every single opinion is right.

“But I don’t believe it’s about mentality. We always talk about competing. The mentality is to have the belief and the feeling that you can beat any team.

“Tottenham has shown in the last few seasons it can compete and beat any team - Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and of course in the Premier League.

“Now we achieve this level where we believe in ourselves and we can compete in every single game. The last step is to win.

“We’re close, we’re not going to give up. When you’re close the most important thing is to keep going - work tougher, work harder and believe. It’s not a time to blame. It’s a time to back my players and then of course the idea we’re developing in the last few years.”

Tottenham host Watford at Wembley on Monday night and will again be without Harry Winks due an ongoing ankle problem, with Pochettino admitting: “We are assessing him and sure it will be not easy for him to play again this season.”

Danny Rose could be available though as he completes his recovery from a calf problem.

“Danny Rose is going to join the team tomorrow, starting to train with the group tomorrow if he’s ok today,” said Pochettino.” We’ll see what happens in the next few days.”

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