Sep 16, 2016

    Pochettino slams Spurs' lack of passion


    PASSION should have been a prerequisite for Tottenham Hotspur on their return to the Champions League after a five-year absence, especially with 85,000 fans packed into Wembley Stadium.

    So it was surprising to hear manager Mauricio Pochettino lament the lack of it from his players after a disheartening 2-1 home defeat by Ligue 1 leaders Monaco in their Group E opener.

    Tottenham's fans set a new club record attendance for a "home" fixture - flocking to the national stadium in their droves.

    But they left disappointed, probably wishing the tie was played at White Hart Lane.

    The decision to play at Wembley was forced on the club as their historic White Hart Lane stadium, soon to make way for a new ground next door, has a reduced capacity of around 31,000.

    Monaco's manager Leonardo Jardim said his players had raised their game for the big stage and suggested the larger Wembley pitch had hindered Spurs.

    "No, that's not an excuse," Pochettino, whose side beat Monaco 4-1 at White Hart Lane last season in the Europa League, told reporters.

    "We needed to be more aggressive, more hungry and have more passion.

    "We showed a lack of passion in the first half especially.

    "It's a shame because we fought so hard to be here and this was a big opportunity to give the fans a good victory."