Mauricio Pochettino: Second half spirit means Tottenham should remain positive despite West Ham defeat

Joe Hall
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West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Pochettino: "A draw would have been fair@ (Source: Getty)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino encouraged his side to remain positive ahead of Sunday’s crunch North London derby, after a 1-0 loss at West Ham denied them the chance to go top of the Premier League.

A first half Michail Antonio header was enough to seal victory for the Hammers and prevent Spurs from leapfrogging Leicester to the top of the table.

“We need to be positive, why not?” said the Argentinean. “In the changing room the players were disappointed but the way they fought in the second half was fantastic.

“First half we were poor but in the second half we tried to play in the way we normally do. A draw would have been fair.”

The game’s only goal came just seven minutes in when after Antonio applied a powerful header to a perfectly delivered in-swinging corner from Dimitri Payet.

Antonio stormed past his marker at the near post to flick Payet’s cross towards goal, where Spurs keeper Lloris could only palm the ball into the side of his net.

Mark Noble almost doubled West Ham’s lead after 15 minutes with a pile driver which seemed certain to nestle in the top left hand corner only for a diving Lloris to push wide.

“To win against them without being lucky, you have to play very well,” crowed Hammers boss Slaven Bilic. “For the whole 90 minutes we were magnificent.”

But it was Pochettino’s men who enjoyed the best chances after the restart.

Left-back Ben Davies drilled wide from the edge of the box before Lamela headed wide from Kieran Trippier’s cross on 52 minutes.

After an hour Hammers keeper Adrian parried Alderweireld’s daisy cutter into the path of Harry Kane, but the striker was unable to stab home.

Kane was offered another opportunity six minutes later, but was unable to connect with Trippier’s wicked cross at the back post in Spurs’ last meaningful chance of the game.

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