Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham Hotspur need more time to create winning mentality after latest silverware setback
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The 46-year-old reacted to Spurs’ eighth successive FA Cup semi-final defeat and urged the club to keep going despite this disappointment
Mauricio Pochettino admitted Tottenham Hotspur need more time in their quest to win silverware after seeing his team lose 2-1 to Manchester United in today’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Spurs took the lead in the 10th minute through Dele Alli, but Alexis Sanchez levelled 14 minutes later after a mistake by Mousa Dembele.
It remained 1-1 at the break and the second half was an even affair, though it was the Red Devils who went ahead with 62 on the clock when Ander Herrera slotted home from just inside the area.
Tottenham pushed for a way back into the match, but an equaliser remained elusive and it means the Lilywhites’ wait for silverware will continue into an 11th year.
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When asked if Spurs need more maturity to know how to win big games, Pochettino replied: “We are always trying to learn, but I think at some points it is difficult. It is not about trying to learn, it is about having the capacity to beat your opponent.
“We are in a process and we arrived in the semi-final and we were competitive in the Champions League and competitive in the Premier League, but I think it is not enough.
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“Everyone feels ‘we are close, we are close, we are close’ and still it is nearly and near for us to touch, but to reach this last level you not only have to compete, but you have to win.
“Tottenham in the last four years are building a very good team and we are trying to create a winning mentality and at the moment it is not enough, but in this situation Tottenham needs to keep going.
“To create that winning mentality it is not about a few years. I have talked before to the press – Tottenham needs more time and of course with me or another (manager), but it is so important for Tottenham to keep going and focusing and working to develop a philosophy that would be fantastic for the club.”
Pochettino made two bold calls when it came down to his team selection with Michel Vorm preferred to captain Hugo Lloris in goal, like he has been for all the cup games, and Toby Alderweireld on the bench again.
Alderweireld had produced a composed display on his comeback match at Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to see him dislodge Davinson Sanchez in the Spurs starting XI.
The decision to keep faith with Vorm in the cup arguably back-fired with the Dutch goalkeeper perhaps at fault for the winner with Herrera’s goal ending up close to the centre of the net.
But Pochettino insisted: “No regrets. I think we competed and dominated the first half, so 1-1 at half time was completely unfair. But in the second half they scored and the game was more competitive and even.
“When you compete with these type of clubs and teams like Manchester United, it is always 50/50 and today the victory was for them.”