Mauricio Pochettino says he was a little bit worried about the aggression his players showed against Manchester United on Thursday after he was forced to apologise to Tottenham’s opponents.
Spurs received two bookings in the first half, including one for Dele Alli who squared up to United’s players on a couple of occasions. Moussa Sissoko escaped punishment despite appearing to leave a foot in on Scott McTominay.
United went on to win the match 2-1, scoring through Anthony Martial and Angel Gomes either side of Lucas Moura’s equaliser. It was Tottenham’s first defeat of pre-season following last week’s 3-2 victory over Juventus.
After the game, Pochettino apologised for his side’s rough tackles and admitted he was a little concerned by the intensity of the contest in the first half.
“I was a little bit annoyed about some situations,” Pochettino said (via Sky Sports). “I was not happy. It was a friendly game and in some situations of course when you are tired, when it’s so hot, you are not right with the tempo to arrive at the actions, sometimes you arrive late and something can happen.
“I apologise on behalf of our players to Manchester United, I think in the second half they made it to us, but then it’s football.
“It wasn’t their intention, but sometimes when you are tired you arrive late and some things can happen and I was worried because in this period of preparation, it is sometimes you need to be aggressive and you need to play with passion, but sometimes the focus is to build your fitness and develop the way you want to play.
“I was a little bit worried, but in the second half, the game was a bit more relaxed.”
United put in a couple of heavy challenges, too, but Pochettino clearly feels his side were in the wrong for the most part. Spurs face Serie A side Inter Milan in their next International Champions Cup outing.
The Londoners haven’t added to their squad since the arrival of Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon, but links with Juventus forward Paulo Dybala continue to circulate.
The Premier League Panini Tabloid is a special commemorative newspaper sticker collection celebrating the exciting new partnership between the greatest league in the world and the legendary name in football publishing, Panini. Get yours by clicking here.