Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino fires warning as he explains collapse against Olympiakos | Football | Sport
Mauricio Pochettino claims his Tottenham stars did not have the fight to see off Olympiakos in their Champions League opener.
Now he is warning his players he is going to crank up the pressure in training after watching his side throw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.
Harry Kane’s penalty and Lucas Moura’s stunning second seemed to have given Tottenham the perfect start to their campaign.
But a goal pulled back just before the break was followed by another penalty, this time for Olympiakos, in the second half.
It meant that as in the north London derby 17 days earlier, Tottenham had thrown away a golden advantage to end up with just one point.
“It is easy to explain,” Mauricio Pochettino said. “When we don’t show that intensity the competition demands we struggle.
“We are not talking about the quality of players, we are talking about focus, concentration, anticipation.
“How many times did we anticipate the action? How many times were we not productive like we were against [Crystal] Palace?
“It’s not about tactics or quality players but the level of fight. You need to match the opponent in aggressivity, excitement, motivation.
“That is the first demand, you need to work.
“This season we have been conceding a lot of chances and a lot of goals and need to change that way. The only way to do that is to be more demanding.
“Training needs to be harder. Psychologically harder.”
Despite the disappointment of dropping two points Harry Kane, whose 15th Champions League goal came in only his 20th appearance, still believes Tottenham are on course to reach the knockout stages.
“We wanted to get off to a winning start and put ourselves in great position,” he said. “Last season we didn’t play too well and had to play catch-up.
“We’ve definitely got resilience in the squad to do that, it’s only the first game and we’re definitely backing ourselves to get through.
“But we’ve got a lot of improving to do.”