Tottenham cannot afford to start as poorly as they did against Southampton if they want to finish in the Premier League’s top four, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs claimed a comfortable 4-1 victory at St Mary’s on Wednesday but had to come from behind after Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring in the second minute.
Goals from Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli’s brace completed the turnaround for the visitors, despite Kane also missing a penalty with the score at 2-1.
But Pochettino was cautious in his praise of Spurs after they became the first team to score four Premier League goals in Southampton since 1998.
“It’s a fantastic result for us but I don’t think it was one of our best performances,” he told Sky Sports.
“We need to be critical because we cannot start the game the way we started [today].
“If we want to fight for the top four, we need to be more aggressive and more focused from the beginning.
“It was difficult for us to settle but after 10 or 15 minutes and when Dele Alli scored to make it 1-1, I think we started to manage the game and have control.
“It’s never easy to score four goals here at St Mary’s because Southampton are a very good team.
“I think our players deserve a lot of credit because the performance was good. Only maybe the first 10 or 15 minutes is a disappointment.”
The results lifts Tottenham to within a point of fourth-placed Arsenal.
“All the big teams have won this week so it was important for us to get the three points – for belief and to stay in a good position to fight for the top positions,” he added.
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