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'Move on' - Pochettino acknowledges 'tough' duel with West Ham, insists focus is now on Ajax

Tottenham take on the Dutch side in their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night.

Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Image: Alastair Grant

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER Mauricio Pochettino admitted he was “disappointed” after today’s Premier League defeat to West Ham, but insists his side must move on ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Ajax.

Spurs suffered a shock 1-0 loss in today’s early kick-off, their first defeat in their new stadium, and now take on the Eredivisie table-toppers for their Champions League semi-final first leg.

“Move on” was the message from the Argentine.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Pochettino said the Hammers’ clinical performance made them deserved winners.

Very disappointed,” he said. “We all feel disappointed.

“The first half was good for us, the second wasn’t. It was one for us, one for [West Ham]. They scored in their (better) half and we didn’t score when we created chances.

Of course it was tough. We knew it was going to be tough. It’s a derby and they arrive in very good condition – fresh, to try and compete.

“For us, the circumstances were completely different. We have nothing to say. We’re disappointed, but it’s time to move on.”

Tottenham had the chance to snatch a late draw, but Vincent Janssen’s stoppage-time header was cleared off the line by Fabian Balbuena.

The result means that the North London side remain third, just three points ahead of Chelsea and a four ahead of Arsenal with two games to play.

The former take on Manchester United tomorrow afternoon at Old Trafford, who themselves have an outside chance of finishing in a Champions League spot.

Reflecting on this afternoon’s performance, the Spurs boss lamented his side’s inability to find the net.

We could not [finish] in the circumstances. We made an unbelievable effort in the first half to try and score.

“In the second, we felt it was tough because they were difficult to break down. We conceded a lot of space on the counter-attack and forced us to run. We conceded… It was tough.

It happens in football. We have nothing to say. We can move on now.”

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Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Michail Antonio scored the only goal of the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - the first ever scored by an away team here. Source: Simon Cooper

Looking ahead to Tuesday night’s game, Pochettino admitted that April’s fixture congestion has not aided the team’s recovery.

It’s always tough to prepare for a semi-final when you have to play a very good team like Ajax – to arrive in the right condition.

“It’s going to be difficult, but the mentality is there. We need to move on and forget about the game and look ahead to Tuesday.

“[The result is] no good for us, of course. But we know the circumstance.

“Sometimes these things can happen.”

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