Pochettino says cup defeat to West Ham was ‘massive mistake’
Spurs manager outlines importance of beating Moyes’s team in Premier League at Wembley
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino: “Now we need to win because we have to fight for the top four.” Photograph: Getty Images
Mauricio Pochettino has denied Tottenham Hotspur are out for revenge against West Ham United after throwing away a two-goal half-time lead to lose 3-2 at the London Stadium in the Carabao Cup. However, the manager has outlined the importance of beating David Moyes’s team at Wembley on Thursday night, and described October’s defeat as a “massive mistake”.
“It is not revenge,” Pochettino said. “But it was a game that was so important for us. I think all the players in our starting XI were all ones who played in the Premier League and the Champions League. It was 2-0 at half-time and we all – because I need to put myself in this too – believed the game was over, but it was 3-2 in the end. It was a massive mistake.
“Now it is the Premier League, and now we need to win because we have to fight for the top four. It is so important to get three points. We will approach it in the same attitude and purpose. I would sign now to be two goals up at half-time, and then we need to be more clever. West Ham have improved a lot with David Moyes, and I think it will be very testing.”
West Ham have lost one of their past six league games, and rose a point above the bottom three thanks to Tuesday’s victory at home to West Bromwich Albion. Tottenham played that night too – winning 2-0 at Swansea City – but have the greater scope to freshen up their starting XI.
Aaron Cresswell is a doubt after injuring his back against West Brom, and Diafra Sakho (knee) and Michail Antonio (groin) may be unavailable. Sam Byram, Edimilson Fernandes and José Fonte are out, and Oxford, recalled from a loan with Mönchengladbach, is likely to be sidelined after spraining an ankle in training.
“I don’t have many changes, I don’t have lots of players,” Moyes said. “I’ve got some forward players I can change around, but I don’t have many players in other positions.”
Moyes is wary of Harry Kane, who did not play in the Carabao Cup game but scored twice when Spurs beat West Ham in September.
“I need to think about getting some of the best centre-halves in the world to come and play against him,” Moyes said. “Some to come out of retirement. He’s so good. Everybody likes Harry Kane because he’s deserved what he’s got because of the work and the way he has developed his career.”