I think the first half was even enough, we had enough of the play, we had enough of the chances. We conceded a bad goal but there’s nothing there I didn’t think we couldn’t overcome. But the second half after we conceded the second one we just didn’t reach the levels of intensity and tempo we’ve had all year. Then it was very hard for us to get any kind of control or traction in the game. It seemed like we were chasing the whole time. It was a disappointing night for us.
We had enough chances to score so I didn’t think that was the issue. I don’t think that’s the issue for us. It wasn’t about scoring. If we’d scored today it’s meaningless. It’s more about other the things that are important and have been important to us all year, because irrespective of our performance fluctuation, our competitive levels and our ability to stay in games and be really strong and show conviction have been there all the time. This is the first game when probably, especially in the second half, I didn’t feel it was there today and that was the disappointing thing for us. If we don’t hit those levels then it’s very hard for us to do all the other things we’ve been good at.

It was Radu Dragusin’s first start, what did you make of his performance?

I don’t think it’s a game to talk about individuals, because whether it’s Radu‘s first game or Sonny’s 500th, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that as a group we just didn’t reach the levels we need to in order to compete so for us, there’s obviously a lesson in that. It’s part of our growth. You’ve got to feel, all these things keep saying, they’re not firsts but they’re things you’ve got to go through if you want to get growth and it’s how you react to them and that’s our challenge now.

Do you have a sense of why there was no intensity there?

No, it’s something that’s been there before so you need to just sit back and analyse it. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of evidence as to why and plenty of things to look at, but ultimately whatever recourse we have now is too late for today’s game.

What’s the message to the players after a game like that?

No different to any other game. It’s about continual growth and continual development. That’s never just a straight line. You’ve going to cop hits along the way and we’ve copped one today and we’ve just got to make sure that we bounce back.

Is it worrying today that you didn’t hit those levels?

No, it’s not worrying, it’s just disappointing. I’d be worried if it was our fifth game in a row we did that so it’s disappointing and we need to analyse it. That’s where we’re at with all of those things. You’ve got to try to treat it in isolation to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of one way or another whether that’s positive or negative, going down rabbit holes that don’t exist.

Is this a good time to have the international break now or would you rather play again straight away?

(Laughs) No, I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s the international break and you know that whether you won or you lose. I think you take it, the players will go away and focus on their international teams and we’ll get them back a few days before the next game and when we get them back we’ll put to bed this analysis and look forward from there.

People might have said in the past that Spurs had once again failed to take something in their grasp, is that accusation fair for your side and missing the chance to get into the top four?

You can level any accusation you want. I get it and I’m happy for people to run that sort of commentary because it’s meaningless to me. I don’t see fourth as the prize. This club has finished fourth before. It’s finished second before. You can throw all types of things at it, it’s reached the Champions League final, you can throw all sorts of things but this club has achieved things. So fourth is not my end goal.

I don’t want to finish fourth if we haven’t grown as a team and developed as a team. If nobody believes me then that’s fine. Part of the narrative is to push you in these kind of positions where you think that fourth is some kind of achievement that gives you something for next year. It doesn’t give you anything unless…fourth would be great if I feel like we’re growing as a team and we’re creating something that is going to bring us success next year.


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