West Ham defeat a ‘missed opportunity’ for Tottenham, says boss Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has described Tottenham’s defeat at West Ham as a ‘missed opportunity’.

The north Londoners could have gone top of the Premier League with victory at Upton Park, but Slaven Bilic’s Hammers were 1-0 winners thanks to Michail Antonio’s first-half strike.

Results went in Leicester’s favour as Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City were all beaten on Wednesday, setting up for a feisty derby match with Arsenal on Saturday.

Pochettino said: “A missed opportunity, but in football you need to play first.

“The first half wasn’t good for us, we made a lot of mistakes and it was difficult for our players for a lot of different reasons. In the second half we played better and improved in our game and the way we played.

“We miss 45 minutes to try and win the game.

“I think different reasons [why we were poor], because we made a lot of mistakes.

“It is important now to be positive about the game, I think we created some chances in the second half and we played in a good way. We need to forget the defeat and be positive for the next game.

“The important thing is not [how our opponent did], it is not important if you don’t get the points.

“The situation is that we need to fight in every game and try to get points and today we missed a big opportunity to go top of the table. This is what we need to analyse because the first half was difficult to play and why in the second half did we play better?”

“It sometimes happens where it’s impossible to keep the level of play for the whole season. It’s true the first 45 minutes was poor.”

Leicester’s draw on Tuesday meant Spurs could have gone top and into the driving seat for the Premier League title race, but Pochettino insisted the defeat was not down to the expectations on his young side.

He added: “It’s not the pressure, the conditions were difficult. Our opponent was strong and made it difficult to play and tried to fight.

“They are sad, it’s true. They feel disappointed but it’s normal and they know you need to work hard for recovery to arrive on Saturday.”

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