Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino refused to blame Michel Vorm for conceding the only goal in a 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane.
Vorm was beaten at his near post by a powerful drive from Martin Kelly shortly before half-time in the fifth-round tie at White Hart Lane on Sunday, but Pochettino claimed the goalkeeper was not at fault.
“If you analyse the action he is maybe the last player that you blame,” said Pochettino, who made seven changes to the team that drew 1-1 at Fiorentina in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday.
“It was tough. It’s like a Premier League game but you need to be clinical in front of goal.
“We managed the game, created chances but it was difficult to win.
“There was no tiredness. If we analysed the game we played better but you need to score. It’s hard to explain.
“Mousa Dembele had a [small] groin problem. That’s why we changed him at half-time.
“It’s a tough period for us. We have a crazy schedule but now we need to look forward to be ready for next Thursday,” he added, referring to the return fixture at home to Fiorentina.
“It’s impossible to know if losing here will help us in the long run. Now we feel disappointed because we’re out.”
Dele Alli had Spurs’ best chances, seeing a header blocked on the line and a shot strike both posts.
“It wasn’t our day. There are a lot of disappointing lads in the changing room but we’ll move on,” he said.
“They made it hard for us. We want to win every game.
“We’ll work hard and look forward to the next game.”