Mauricio Pochettino admits he had some strong words for his Tottenham players at half-time as they fought back to draw at Everton.
Everton impressed with a lively, organised display in a first half that saw Ross Barkley’s fifth-minute free-kick give them the lead and Gerard Deulofeu’s attempt to add a second in the closing stages thwarted by Michel Vorm.
But having offered little, Spurs then snatched an equaliser just before the hour mark, via Erik Lamela’s header, and the visitors almost won it late on, with two superb saves by Maarten Stekelenburg keeping out a shot from substitute Vincent Janssen and a deflected Lamela strike.
Pochettino’s press conference before the match had seen him reveal he had wanted to “kill” his players over the final day of last season, when they lost 5-1 at Newcastle and dropped to a third-place finish in the table.
And when asked if he had had strong words with the team at half-time in this game, Pochettino said: “Yes, but this is what happens with all the managers when we are not happy. It is normal.
“You are tough, but in the end you try not to be too critical. It was my responsibility too, and I tried to change things so we could create chances, score and win the game.
“We came very close to winning the game in the end. In the last 15 or 20 minutes we had control.”