Kane absence no excuse for Spurs loss says Pochettino
By Simon Evans
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said the absence of top scorer Harry Kane was no excuse for his team's 1-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Spurs were just nine minutes away from taking a point back to North London before French substitute Anthony Martial grabbed the winner for United.
Without the presence of the Premier League's leading scorer in attack, Spurs were unable to turn their often clever midfield play into a real goal threat.
But Argentine manager Pochettino refused to cite Kane's absence, through a hamstring injury, as a factor in the loss.
"I said before the game that you are always going to miss your main striker and Harry Kane is one the best strikers in the world," he said.
"But it is not an excuse today. We did not lose the game because Harry wasn't out there, it is a collective sport and you have to adapt when someone isn't fit to play. I am happy with the performance and we deserved more than zero points," he said.
Pochettino suggested there was a chance that Kane could be fit to face Real Madrid in their Champions League clash at Wembley on Wednesday.
"We will see in the next few days if he will be available and fit to play against Real Madrid. We will see tomorrow and the day after," he said.
Pochettino clearly felt his team deserved to leave Old Trafford with at least a point.
"It was an even game. It was a shame to lose. The chances were for one and then the other. It was a tough game and I think we deserved more. I feel proud of the effort and it was unlucky that in the last 10 minutes we conceded our goal.
"It was our mistake," said the Spurs manager, clearly disappointed with the way his team failed to handle a straightforward long ball forward from United keeper David De Gea.
"We contained United very well. We were always in control of the game. We had the ball but it is true we did not create enough chances to score. In this type of game if you make a mistake you lose," he added.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)