Spurs' Pochettino on Dean row: Maybe cables crossed in my brain

Arnold Nichols
February 26, 2019

"I don't think there was ever a serious title threat from Tottenham and I never thought they would win it".

The English Football Association (FA) has charged Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino with improper conduct for confronting the referee after Saturday's shock 2-1 Premier League defeat at Burnley. It was a rare public display of anger from Pochettino, who quickly acknowledged that his emotional outburst was linked to the realisation that this loss may have ended Spurs' hopes of catching leading duo Liverpool and Manchester City.

"We can not think now of being a real contender", he said. Maybe we are heroes if we win at Stamford Bridge and beat Arsenal, but it's the same feeling as when we lost against Watford.

But speaking at his postmatch news conference, he said: "When you feel so disappointed and upset, maybe you sometimes make some mistakes".

Pochettino confirmed that he would not contest any disciplinary action, admitting he may have "crossed the line" and that he would "accept everything that can happen from the FA". It was weird and odd and has not happened before in 10 years. "In this kind of level, if you want to be a contender you need to come here and show your credentials but it did not happen", he said.

It was not without controversy, though, as Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino argued that the ball that led to Dwight McNeil's corner had gone off a Burnley player and should have been a goal kick.

Defeat dented third-placed Tottenham's title hopes and Pochettino appeared to vent his frustration at referee Mike Dean in a furious confrontation.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche felt justice was done, though, when Barnes notched the 83rd-minute victor, although Pochettino was so irritated about the defeat that he was embroiled in an uncharacteristic face-to-face confrontation with Dean.

It was a bitter blow for third placed Tottenham, who will be eight points off top spot if second placed Liverpool, now level on points with City, win at Manchester United on Sunday. Gudmundsson smashed a cross-shot towards the far post and, with Vertonghen unable to clear, Barnes had the simple task of tapping into the empty net.

They have played 27 games this season in the Premier League, losing seven games and remain the only side without a draw this season.

Huddersfield is 14 points from safety with 11 games to go.

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