Mauricio Pochettino was left disappointed after his side drew with Serie A club Fiorentina in the first-leg display of the last-32 fixture in the Europa League at White Hart Lane.
Much maligned striker Roberto Soldado gave the hosts perfect start as he volleyed home his goal in just the sixth minute of the game. But Spurs’ perfect start was couldn’t be converted into a perfect end result as Jose Maria Basanta crucially equaliser 10 minutes before the half time and secured Fiorentina a draw and more importantly, a very crucial away goal.
It makes things tough for the Premier League side as they now have the disadvantage of travelling to a tough venue where there opponents already have the benefit of the away goal. What makes it even tougher is that Tottenham will also have one eye on their Capital One Cup final against Chelsea just three days later.
“It is a shame because at half-time we deserved to have scored more than one goal but it was only 1-1,” Pochettino admitted.
“We have 90 minutes in Florence to try and win the game and go to the next round. Today we were better than Fiorentina, especially in the first-half.
“We created a lot of chances but this is football. I think in the first half we controlled the game but we had more of the ball in the second-half.”
Pochettino also drew positives from his side’s performance and added, “In general, over the 90 minutes we were better. We had the chances, the possession of the ball and managed the game.
“It’s a shame and I’m disappointed with the result because I think we deserved more, but I’m happy with the performance.”
Pochettino rested some first team regulars in Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Mousa Dembele as Spurs have a big period ahead of them that includes six games in 17 days.
Tottenham lie in the sixth place in the Premier League right now. They’re only three points off the top four, and Pochettino talked about league and cup commitments as well as necessary team rotation.
“Both competitions – the league and the Europa League – can give us access to the Champions League,” Pochettino added.
“We are fighting for the Europa League and in the Premier League. We try to focus on the next game and not think too much about the future.”
“We need to make decisions because we have a lot of games coming up, six games in 17 days.
“It’s difficult and we need to rotate, give everyone the possibility to play. It’s not difficult to pick the starting 11, I try to select the best team to win the games.”