Poch defends team selection

AFP
Mauricio Pochettino defended his team selection after Tottenham Hotspur dropped points against Brighton and Hove Albion.
AFP

MAURICIO Pochettino defended his team selection after Tottenham Hotspur dropped points against Brighton and Hove Albion, denying this weekend’s FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United influenced his decision.

The Spurs boss made 6 changes to his starting line-up and then saw his team drop 2 points in the quest to seal UEFA Champions League qualification.

Despite the 1-1 draw, the north London club remains in a strong position to finish in the top four, 8 points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea.

Tottenham now turns its attention to Saturday’s meeting with Jose Mourinho’s United at Wembley as it attempts to end a 10-year wait for silverware.

Pochettino was adamant the important cup clash had no bearing on his team selection on Tuesday. “I was thinking today and trying to win,” he said. “Some players needed to rest, some players needed to stay on the bench and I think we have a strong squad.

“Everyone is ready to play and it was a moment to give some fresh legs to the team but we were thinking about trying to win.”

England midfielder Dele Alli and center-back Davinson Sanchez were omitted from Pochettino’s squad while Kieran Trippier, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela dropped to the bench.

Top scorer Harry Kane swept Spurs ahead early in the second half with his 26th league goal of the season but Pascal Gross equalized from the penalty spot for the hosts.

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