Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists Kyle Walker’s substitution in the 28th minute due to illness had a significant impact on his team as they drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Saturday.
Spurs started the better team at home but soon faded after Walker’s exit, to be replaced by striker Vincent Janssen, forced a reshuffle and a complete change of game plan.
Pochettino was unable to say whether the illness would rule Walker out of the first England squad named by Sam Allardyce on Sunday, but admitted the forced substitution scuppered his side’s chances of getting a result against the Reds.
“I think we started well. After 15 minutes we had a problem with Kyle Walker who was sick. We had to change a bit our plan and started to play with two strikers,” said the Argentine.
“It was true that at half-time it was a deserved 1-0 to Liverpool and the second half we raised our performance levels.
“We played not well but better – we competed a lot, which is important so I am pleased.
“It is true we wanted to play a little bit long but we started to make some mistakes. We knew Liverpool are a team that like to run into space.
“But then we had the problem with Walker and we had to take more risks in the second half. They had chances to win the match but we played much better.
“The effort was fantastic and the character we showed. When you play a team who like to play on the counter attack you must take some risks. In the end a draw was a fair result.”