Palace 2-0 Spurs - Mauricio's verdict
Sun 27 January 2019, 19:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino challenged his players to pick themselves up and win Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Watford after conceding that the “key moments” went against us in Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace.
Connor Wickham couldn’t miss from six yards out after Paulo Gazzaniga had saved Jeffrey Schlupp’s angled shot before Kyle Walker-Peters’ outstretched arm made contact with a high ball into the box, gifting Andros Townsend a chance to put Palace 2-0 ahead inside 34 minutes at Selhurst Park.
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, on a rare start, peeled into space to collect Kieran Trippier’s free-kick but saw two shots saved by Julian Speroni before Trippier himself missed a penalty – two key chances gone in the lead-up to half-time.
We tried and tried after the restart but shots from Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela and Trippier wouldn’t go in, leaving us to swallow a second cup competition exit in the space of four days after the midweek loss to Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Following Palace’s fourth-round triumph, Mauricio said it’s important for the players to respond when we return to Premier League action against the Hornets at Wembley on Wednesday.
“Of course, I’m very disappointed because it’s a difficult moment, after the defeat, to be out of the Carabao Cup and of course now the FA Cup, but that can happen in this busy period of fixtures with a lot of circumstances,” he said.
“I think we competed but we were not clinical in front of the goal. We dominated, we created chances and we were a little bit unlucky.
“In football, the key moments, if you don’t take those moments the things can go against you. The game was like this – we created chances, we didn’t score and that is football. We’re disappointed, but now we need to be focused on the competitions that we have ahead, that’s the Premier League and Champions League.
“We need to fight, we need to be positive and try to win the next few games and start to change that energy and that feeling.”
Asked if he’s confident the team can return to winning ways against Watford, Mauricio replied: “Yes, of course. We have one day less than our opponent (to prepare), they played yesterday, but in the Premier League I think we are in a good position. We need to try to get the three points – it will be massive for us.”