By Tony Hughes
Furious Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he would have substituted all of his Tottenham players against Monaco if he could.
The Spurs manager was angered by his team’s lacklustre display as they lost 2-1 at Wembley on Wednesday in their first Champions League clash for five years.
Pochettino made the shock revelation afterwards that he would have removed all eleven of his starters from the fray if the rules had allowed.
First-half goals from Bernardo Silva and substitute Thomas Lemar – within the first 32 minutes – at Spurs’ temporary European home left the Londoners bottom of their Champions League group.
Pochettino refused to blame the move to the national stadium after the 2-1 defeat and said, as quoted by the Mirror: “That’s too good an excuse. We need to work, to show more hunger. We need to show a different image.
“We fought a lot last season to be here and your feeling is ‘Why not do more?’”
Pochettino added: “If this was basketball, I would have taken them all off.”
Spurs lost their group stage opener in front of a record attendance for a British club in Europe’s elite competition of 85,011.
Toby Alderweireld headed Spurs back into it on the stroke of half-time but Dele Alli and Harry Kane blew late chances to snatch an equaliser.
“It was a game that we started well,” Pochettino added, as quoted by the Mirror. “Then we conceded a goal, and you cannot concede at this level – the Champions League or the Premier League – when you play for Tottenham. It is difficult to accept.”
Spurs now travel to CSKA Moscow — who drew 2-2 at Bayer Leverkusen in the group’s other match —for their next match, on September 27.