Mauricio Pochettino wants his Tottenham players to ‘man up’ after admitting they ‘gave up’ in their humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich.
The Premier League side were thrashed 7-2 by the Bundesliga champions – the first time they have conceded seven goals on home soil in any major competition.
Five of Bayern’s goals came in the second half, with four of them scored by former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry – just to rub salt into Spurs’ wounds.
“The feeling at the end, when we conceded the three goals, it was like the team was tired and gave up a little bit,” Pochettino said.
“Maybe that showed a little bit our frustration in the game because up until 83 minutes the team were alive, we were fighting, trying to create chances to score a third goal and we were still in the game. But they were very clinical.
“Of course we are so disappointed. I cannot say another thing other than I feel very very disappointed. I feel so bad because when you concede seven goals it is tough, but you need to face up to this type of situation.
“When you play the final of the Champions League, it was nice to put your face up after the wins we had at Manchester City and Ajax. Now I have to put my same face up and accept we were not as good as we expected.”
He added: “This type of situation happens and you need to show your quality like a man first – to face like a professional is like a man.
“You need to put your quality, how you are strong like a person to face this type of situation and after is coming the professional side.
‘Extremely hurt’ and ‘ashamed’ Jan Vertonghen sends message to Spurs fans after Champions League loss
“Now we need to be a man and to face that problem and be strong together to try to bounce back and change that feeling.
“I think we are very critical with ourselves and to find always the way to fix a problem. We need to try to move on because I think it’s more psychological now.
“I think the most important now is to have one idea, one analysis, one assessment and we need to stick with this idea and from there start to improve.”
It has been a stuttering start to the season for Tottenham, with just three wins from their seven Premier League games so far and a number of players unsettled.
Having reached the Champions League final last term, Pochettino said he always knew this campaign would be far tougher with the club in transition.
“I told you a few months ago that it’s going to be a tough season,” he said.
“For me, after the final of the Champions League it was a chapter closed and now the club is in a period that they need to open another chapter and design a project, medium or long-term.
“It is not because the defeat is going to change my opinion.”