Football

Spurs deserve to draw, says Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino insists his Tottenham side were not lucky to remain in the FA Cup as Harry Kane's controversial late penalty earned a third-round replay against Leicester.

Kane had started the match on the bench at White Hart Lane but was called upon as the Foxes looked to be on course for another famous victory in their impressive season.

Christian Eriksen had fired the hosts ahead on eight minutes before Marcin Wasilewski levelled and substitute Shinji Okazaki struck moments after coming on to turn the game - only for Kane to thrash home an 89th-minute penalty, and his 50th Tottenham goal, to secure a 2-2 draw.

Nathan Dyer conceded the untimely spot-kick having been adjudged to have handled the ball as Danny Rose broke into the Leicester penalty area. And Kane, who had not had a chance until that point, emphatically finished to set up a replay.

Asked if his side were lucky to get a replay, Pochettino (left) replied: "Lucky? No. You must never give up.

"I didn't see if it was or not. But sometimes the decisions are for you, sometimes they are against you. If I watch it again I can give a better opinion.

"It's true we are happy and very pleased to get the draw at the end. It's important for us to stay alive in the competition. But if we analyse, the first half, we deserved more. We dominated the whole game. But I'm happy. The performance was good. We have another chance."

The replay adds to an already congested month of fixtures but Pochettino has backed his squad to prove their strength in depth.

"It is tough for us and tough for them (Leicester)," he added.

"We need to be strong in our mind. We have a strong squad. Today showed that those not playing in the first team can fight for a place.

"It's complicated. It's tough to play Premier League, Europa League and cups. But it's for that we have a very strong squad and we made seven changes.

"We need to keep fit all the players, and motivated. It's a good thing to compete and that the squad believe everyone can compete for a consistent place in the team."

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri (right) said he is looking forward to the replay so he can give more minutes to those fringe players who came into the team here.

"Of course we are frustrated because our second half was very good, we were very calm and defended very well," he said.

"It is another match we will play and I'm very glad to give another chance to my eight players who aren't used to playing consistently.

"It is good for them and me to watch again because they didn't play since the last match we played in the League Cup. Eight new players (in the team) but I didn't see a big difference. They played very, very well." 
- PA Sport.

tottenham hotspurmauricio pochettinoLEICESTERClaudio RanieriFA Cup