Mauricio Pochettino change pays off as Tottenham earn Wembley win
Last Updated: 15/10/17 9:53am
Mauricio Pochettino claimed a half-time formation change was the key to Tottenham's 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at Wembley.
Spurs were without the in-form Ben Davies through illness which caused boss Pochettino to make a tactical change as he switched from his now-favoured 3-4-2-1 formation to a 4-2-3-1 instead, with Jan Vertonghen shuffling across into a left-back role.
However, with Spurs struggling to carve open the Bournemouth defence, Pochettino reverted back to 3-4-2-1 at the interval with Vertonghen moving into a wing-back role and Eric Dier dropping into the back three.
It was a change that paid off almost instantly as Christian Eriksen fired in the only goal of the game two minutes into the second half.
Speaking post-match, Pochettino said: "They [Bournemouth] played so deep in the first half and we made some mistakes in the first half with our positioning and offensive set-up and we found it difficult to move the ball quickly and break them down.
"In the second half we worked and tried to fix that, we made some changes to our formation in possession and I think that was good because we began to dominate and create a lot of chances."
Spurs' form at their temporary home has been called into question as they failed to win any of their first three Premier League games at the national stadium, while winning all four of their away matches.
They looked to be in danger of dropping more points at home with the score locked at 0-0 at half-time but Eriksen's goal was enough to seal a valuable three points that keeps Spurs third in the table.
With a big game against Real Madrid looming on Tuesday, Pochettino was pleased with his side's win and relieved to not have to answer any questions about his team's so-called 'Wembley curse'.
"It was important. It was a game we needed to win and take the three points and it was difficult but in the end our performance was enough to take the three points," he said.
"In the Premier League you can always concede some chances, Jermain [Defoe] had one and Hugo Lloris made two big saves and was fantastic.
"It's normal for you to ask [about Wembley] when we don't win here! But I am so pleased to avoid the question this week and hopefully for the rest of the season."