Tottenham Hotspur defeated Burnley 4-2 last night, but found themselves 2-0 down before ten minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino praised his team’s fight and character to Sky Sports after their comeback in the FA Cup replay against Burnley last night.
Spurs quickly found themselves 2-0 down before the ten minute mark, but they got stuck in and ground out a win over 90 minutes, eventually securing a 4-2 victory.
“The team has shown character and faith. It's important to grow in the group. I am happy they showed character because that is important,” the boss was quoted by Sky after the game.
However, while Pochettino will be pleased with the character the side showed, the performance also highlighted a dangerous problem for Spurs; the way they start matches.
Tottenham weren’t ready for Burnley to fly out of the traps, with the defence asleep, creating a similar example to what saw former Manchester United defender Gary Neville lay into Spurs earlier in the season.
Neville claimed the team were ‘weak’ and ‘never ready’ which is dangerous considering the calibre of the teams Tottenham are competing against for top four places.
Against a better team, Spurs may not have found a way back from 2-0 down, with the score line maybe even being extended further if it was an Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool.
Using Chelsea as the example, Jose Mourinho would have totally restructured his team after the second goal had gone in, to ensure that Tottenham didn’t fight back.
Tottenham can’t afford to give teams a head start because they’re not always going to get back into the game.
One of the main themes that Pochettino should be stressing to his players today is that they don’t need to make things harder for themselves.
It was also a little concerning that club captain Younes Kaboul started in the back four last night and arguably, should have done more to ensure that everyone was focused from the very first whistle.
Tottenham are in the next round by right, but they need to cut out slow starts.