Football

Pochettino rues missed opportunity after Sunderland draw

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted he was disappointed, after his side dropped two points in a 0-0 draw with struggling Sunderland yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Spurs leapfrogged London rivals Arsenal on goal difference, nine points behind Chelsea - who were held 1-1 by Liverpool - after a bruising encounter at the Stadium of Light.

Pochettino's side are unbeaten in the league since mid-December, an eight-match run that has seen them take 20 out of a possible 24 points to maintain their top-four hopes.

The Argentinian confessed to leaving Sunderland reflecting on what might have been an opportunity lost.

"I'm disappointed, not frustrated," he said.

"We're on a good run and it was a chance to cut the gap on Chelsea, so when you drop two points like tonight then it's difficult not to feel bad about it."

Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after a sickening challenge on Spurs' midfielder Mousa Dembele.

Spurs, who lost defender Danny Rose to a knee injury in the first half, return to action on Sunday morning when they host Middlesbrough.

Said Pochettino: "I don't know if it was a red card for Rodwell, it's difficult for referees to get it right, so we need to support his decision.

"I thought we were poor in the first half. We weren't aggressive enough - that was the problem and we can't afford that. We all need to learn and try to fix it."

Despite getting a hard-earned point, Sunderland are still five points adrift of 17th-placed Swansea, who beat Southampton 2-1 yesterday morning.

Manager David Moyes said: "We're aware of the way the other results went, but we can't do a lot about that.

"What we can do is to build on what we've got, get that team spirit and toughness about us and take pride in this performance because I thought we really stuck at it." - AFP

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