Mauricio Pochettino says there’s an easy explanation as to why his Tottenham team couldn’t beat Newcastle at home: they didn’t play well.
The Argentine manager watched on as Spurs dominated the game against the Magpies, but couldn’t find the net, losing to Joelinton’s first half goal, the visitors' first Premier League win this year.
He lamented the concession of a goal he labelled “cheap”, but credited Steve Bruce’s men with an organised defense his charges couldn’t penetrate.
“I think it’s easy,” Pochettino told the press after the match. “We didn’t play well.”
“Very disappointed with our performance and the result in the end. Again we conceded a very cheap goal in the first half and then it was difficult.
“They showed that they were very well organised with their defensive line and they were very compact. For us we weren’t capable of breaking down their organisation.”
Spurs had 80% of possession over the course of the match and took 17 shots to the Magpies eight. However the visitors put three of their attempts on target while the North London outfit managed only two.
Pochettino put the sterility of Spurs’ dominance down to a lack of desire, and said there was no way for his team to justify their performance.
“We created some chances. Not too many, not enough to be honest,” he added.
“That is why we're very disappointed with the performance and the result but we cannot justify our performance.
“We should be playing better, more desire, more capacity to be more aggressive in this type of game, because 80 per cent of possession is too much for only a few shots on target.”
Spurs were denied a penalty when it appeared Jamaal Lascelles had impeded Harry Kane as the England captain bore down on goal.
VAR reviewed the incident and upheld the referee’s decision and, although he said he hadn’t seen the incident the former Southampton boss said he had faith the review system would have reached the right decision.
“Look, I am going to have the chance now to see it, but I trust and am fully committed to the VAR,” he went on.
“Of course before starting working with the VAR I was critical because I didn't like it before but in the moment that we all accept the VAR and rules we have to accept the element that is going to help the referee to make better decisions.”
Spurs, who have four points from three games, face Arsenal in the North London derby on September 1 in their next Premier League game.