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Pochettino: Team selection not to blame

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino was unhappy to be questioned over his team selection after his side went down to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League.

Spurs have it all to do in the second leg of their last-16 tie after a comprehensive loss at Signal Iduna Park, with Spurs paying the price for making seven changes to their team ahead of the Premier League game with bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed Dortmund into a first-half lead and Marco Reus scored twice after the break to put Thomas Tuchel’s men in full control, leaving Pochettino to defend picking a weakened team after not introducing star striker Harry Kane until there were just 14 minutes remaining.

Asked if he regretted leaving out the likes of Kane and Erik Lamela, Pochettino said to BT Sport: “Never complain about that – maybe in the dressing room you would speak a different way. 

“But I accept all opinions – always you try to select a better team. When you have a bad day like today it is the same whoever is on the pitch. Like a collective, like a team – we played badly.

“We had a very bad day. It is difficult to explain but it was a bad day and I’m disappointed with our performance. It is true that we did not play well and this was why we lost the game.

“This was our first time losing 3-0 this season. We need to be calm and be sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Pochettino insisted he would not give up on the Europa League in next Thursday’s second leg despite Tottenham facing a massive battle to get back into the tie.

“We need to fight in the return leg next week,” he said. “It is true that 3-0 is not a good result for us but we still need to keep working hard and we need to try next Thursday.”

Thu 10 Mar, 2016
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