Martin Keown defends Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino said he made a mistake with Tottenham Hotspur's team selection in the first-leg of their Europa League tie against Borussia Dortmund.

Martin Keown has told the Daily Mail that he does not believe Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino made a mistake with his team selection against Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League tie.

Pochettino named a weakened line up for Spurs’ match in Germany last week, and he was made to pay.

Dortmund ran out 3-0 winners in front of their own fans, meaning that the tie is effectively over before the second leg takes place.

Pochettino admitted this week that he made a mistake by making so many changes for the match, but Keown has argued that if Tottenham win the Premier League then it will turn out to be the correct decision.

"I haven’t got a problem with what Pochettino did against Dortmund in the first leg. I think tonight is the more difficult one," he said. 

"This is a young team that will want to be let loose on Dortmund because last week’s result will have hit their confidence. They are aspiring to get to the Champions League and play at this level and the defeat and the manner of it might have shaken them a bit. But they will want to put things right.

"Pochettino suggested it might have been a mistake to pick that team but if Tottenham go on to win the Premier League, as I think they can, then it won’t be a mistake at all."

Tottenham bounced back from their defeat to Dortmund by beating Aston Villa 2-0 in Premier League action last weekend.

Harry Kane and Dele Alli, two players who were rested in Germany, proved to be the main architects of Villa’s downfall - giving Pochettino some justification for rotating in the Europa League.

Tottenham are now five points behind top of the table Leicester City, with just nine games remaining.

Spurs’ second leg against Dortmund takes place at White Hart Lane this evening, but only a miraculous recovery would give Pochettino’s side any chance of making it through to the next round of the European competition.

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