Football

My players did not respect the plan: Mauricio Pochettino

Kane understands manager's frustrations after Spurs let two-goal lead slip

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane said he fully understands manager Mauricio Pochettino's frustration with the team, asserting that they had failed to learn from past mistakes following yesterday morning's (Singapore time) 2-2 Champions League draw at Olympiakos.

Last season's runners-up squandered a two-goal advantage in their Group B opener in Athens and a furious Pochettino accused his players of "not respecting the plan".

Said the Argentine: "I feel very disappointed...

"From the beginning we had a plan. We didn't respect the plan. I told the players at half-time. We scored two goals, but if you only analyse the performance, it wasn't great.

"We conceded a lot of chances to them and the first goal was painful. We didn't show the aggression these games demand...

"The only way we can change is being more demanding from ourselves...

"Training needs to be harder. Psychologically harder."

Kane scored Spurs' opener from the penalty spot on 26 minutes before Lucas Moura made it 2-0 four minutes later.

But Daniel Podence hit back for Olympiakos just before half-time. The Greek side equalised thanks to Mathieu Valbuena's penalty in the 54th minute.

It is the second time Tottenham have allowed a two-goal lead to slip this season, after also drawing 2-2 at Arsenal in the English Premier League.

Since scoring a last-gasp winner at Fulham in the EPL in January, Spurs have managed only two victories on the road - both in the Champions League, against Borussia Dortmund and Ajax Amsterdam.

No team have conceded more Champions League goals (21) than Tottenham since the start of last season, reported Reuters.

Said Kane: "You can see why the manager is frustrated.

"He has been here for five years now and we're still making similar mistakes as we were the first year.

NOT YOUNG ANY MORE

"We are not young any more, we are not inexperienced, we have played in big games for club and country."

Ex-Spurs and England boss Glenn Hoddle said his former team's game management skills are lacking.

He said on BT Sport: "Their game management, after being 2-0 up against Arsenal and then 2-0 up today, that's a concern...

"If they don't concede, they'll win games. Don't just keep playing open football, they need a plan. Hold on to what you've got."

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, called the performance "Spursy".

He said on BT Sport: "Pochettino will be gutted with few individuals. (Hugo) Lloris epitomised it, coming out all lacklustre. So yeah it was 'Spursy', if you wanna put it like that."

Ex-Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas took aim at wantaway playmaker Christian Eriksen.

He said on BT Sport: "He's unrecognisable tonight.

"You have bad games as players, he has had many great games for Tottenham over the years, but he's sticking out like a sore thumb with how bad he is playing tonight."

Eriksen lost possession 22 times against Olympiakos, more than any other player on the pitch.

Football