LONDON – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned his side may have to accept the height of their current capabilities is to be a top-four club after a costly defeat against struggling Southampton.
Spurs, who were on the fringes of the title race until two weeks ago, are now battling just to hold on to their place in the Champions League qualification places after their winless run was extended to four games with a 2-1 defeat at Southampton.
Pochettino’s side, who have taken just one point from their past four matches, were in complete control after a dominant first half that saw Harry Kane score his 200th career goal.
But a capitulation after the break saw Saints turn it around with goals from Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse to leave Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea breathing down their necks in the race for the top four.
“The position that we are in is a very good position,” said Pochettino. “Of course (we are) disappointed. In the last few Premier League games, we didn’t win.
“But still we are in a position that everyone should sign for at the beginning of the season.
Mauricio reflects on yesterday’s defeat at St Mary’s: pic.twitter.com/vdFt2VCKTi
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 10, 2019
“It is difficult to predict the circumstances at the start of the season. To be in a very good position at the end of the season, maybe we need to understand that it is our limit to be there.
“If it is our limit, we need to take some decisions in the future.”
FULL-TIME Southampton 2-1 Spurs
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 9, 2019
Pochettino accused his players of showing arrogance in the second half at St Mary’s and said they need more to get to the next level.
“I cannot come here and say, ‘everything is so good, we have fantastic staff and the manager, I am amazing’,” he said.
“To understand that if we want more and we want to keep our position in the top four and we want to fight on the quarter-finals (of the Champions League), we need to give more in the future and increase our level.”