AT WHITE HART LANE
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 STOKE CITY 2
TOTTENHAM boss Maurico Pochettino admits results need to improve fast otherwise question marks will be raised over his White Hart Lane tenure after 10-man Spurs slipped to defeat against Stoke yesterday.
Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters ensured the Potters held a commanding half-time lead before hopes of a late Spurs revival, sparked by Nacer Chadli’s thumping volley, were snuffed out by Kyle Naughton’s red card.
While Pochettino is adamant he feels under no immediate pressure despite Spurs slipping to 12th in the Premier League after their third defeat in four, he accepts current form is unacceptable.
“We need to improve a lot and this is clear,” he said. “We are trying to implement a different philosophy but in football you never have a long time and we need to find a solution quickly. This is my challenge. I don’t feel under any added personal pressure but we need to find a solution.”
Stoke opened the scoring on six minutes when Bojan’s piercing run ended with the ex-Barcelona forward angling a low 25-yard effort past Hugo Lloris for his first goal in English football. They doubled their advantage shortly after the half hour when Mame Biram Diouf’s centre was converted by Walters from close range.
Half-time substitute Erik Lamela was inches from halving the Spurs deficit with a quarter of an hour remaining only for his free-kick to be tipped around the post by an outstretched Asmir Begovic.
An otherwise comfortable Stoke backline buckled a minute later with Danny Rose’s deep cross to the far post was ferociously lashed back across goal and into the top corner by Chadli. Full-back Naughton was shown a straight red card for deliberately tripping Victor Moses with five minutes remaining as Lloris kept Spurs in the contest by repelling Stephen Ireland’s volley.