Date of publication: Tuesday, 30 April 2019 9:44
Mauricio Pochettino admitted he had tactically made a mistake in the First League semi-finals in Tottenham's Champions League.
His team will have something to do in Amsterdam next week if they are to keep their Champions League dream alive when Ajax won a 1-0 victory in the first leg semi-final, but they stay alive in a tie.
The hosts barely had a kick until they were cut in brilliant stroke in the 15th minute.
It included Lasse Schone and Hakim Ziyech, who slipped into Donny Van De Beek and he had the age to choose his place low around Hugo Lloris.
The goal survived the VAR check on offside and it was almost two eight minutes later, but another pictorial move that Dusan Tadic Van De Beek saw was thwarted by Lloris's feet.
Pochettino said before the match that he "lives in a dream" by doing Spurs to this stage of the tournament, but his selection problems were definitely a nightmare.
This was just their second round in the European Cup and 57 years since their last, but they're not out of it because they showed that this great Ajax page can be reached, even if they didn't force the goalkeeper Andre Onan into meaningful storage.
“I think we weren't in a good way in the first half. It was hard for us to play, our lack of power at the start and it made our game difficult, ”said BT Sport, Pochettino.
“After we give up the goal, after 25-30 minutes we'll be in the game. The problem for Vertonghen gave the team the motivation to play and we wanted to play from the beginning. In the second half, we tried to create some chances and tried to push.
"We're still alive, we're 1-0 and we have to believe we can go there and win the game."
Spurs's evening took another turn to the worse when Vertonghen suffered a head injury that left him bloody and dazed, and he could barely walk the tunnel after a bold attempt to play.
Questions will be asked to the Spurs medical team after Jan Vertonghen returns to the field after a nasty head injury. His manager could not give an update after the match, but confirmed that he would be evaluated in the coming days.
Belgian defenders got doctors everything that was clear, but hardly able to go later and were escorted.
This injury forced the early introduction of Sissoko and this gave Spurs another dimension by showing that Ajax could be in direct access.
Asked if it was a mistake to sacrifice a man in the middle of a three-line line, Pochettino replied: "Now, of course, I can accept that it was a shape error we used. But there were not too many options. I'm not happy – you can't guess what happens if we play differently. But our lack of energy and we were a little careless.
“It was not a shape that would hinder the target. Our approach to the game wasn't good. I'm a manager, so I have a responsibility. "