Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted he was unhappy with his side’s performance in the 3-0 defeat to Stoke, and says they need to improve to secure a top-six finish.
Charlie Adam headed the hosts in front before Steven N’Zonzi profited from a defensive mix-up to fire Stoke two in front at the break, and Spurs never looked like recovering.
Vlad Chiriches was then sent off before Mame Biram Diouf wrapped up the victory late on, and Pochettino was left downhearted by Spurs’ display.
“I’m disappointed with the result but also disappointed with the performance,” he said.
“I think the two goals we conceded were typical of the way that Stoke play. Two long balls and we made a mistake, this is true.
“After that it’s difficult to come back into the game, and in the second half when Chiriches got the red card, more difficult too.
“After that I think the team was brave, tried to score. I think we created some good chances and we played in a good way. But it was a little bit late because in the first half our performance was poor.
“It’s difficult when you give possibilities for the opponent to score. The way they scored and how we conceded the goals makes it difficult to come back into the game.”
Any hope Spurs were harbouring of Champions League football have now been extinguished as they lie seven points off fourth with two games remaining.
But Pochettino’s men also face the prospect of missing out on a top-six finish as they sit just a point above Southampton, and the Spurs boss is determined to finish the season on a high.
“We need to improve, we need to keep working,” he added. “Two games ahead and we need to be strong.
“The way Stoke play, it’s not easy. We lost a lot of duels against them. Today was a very bad day for us.
“We need to improve a lot on this week. We need to be braver in the next game.”