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Tottenham boss Pochettino defends slating players after Monaco defeat

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino stands by criticism of his players after defeat to Champions League opponents AS Monaco.

Pochettino, drawing from his experience as a player at Espanyol, believes it is important for managers to be honest in spite of results or reputations.

"I was a person that liked the reality, that they never lied to me," Pochettino said.

"If I was s***, I was s***. But I need to know sometimes because when you are young, you need to know the reality. When you are in your bubble you believe that always all you do is right.

"And sometimes you need people to say, 'Hey, come on, what happened with you?'.

"I remember always (manager) Marcelo Bielsa when he arrived at Espanyol in pre-season and I was in (Spanish newspaper) Mundo Deportivo as the best centre-back in La Liga.

"He arrived and said to me, 'Oh, how do you assess your last season?'. I thought, 'The manager asked me about my season and Mundo Deportivo say I am the best centre-back', so okay, from 0 to 10, maybe seven, eight? I was very humble. In my head it was nine or 10.

"'You were s***', he said to me. And my face was like this (shocked). He said, 'Because of this, this, this and this'. He showed me why.

"He said, 'If you perform like last season then you cannot play for me and you cannot play in the national team'.

"It was tough for me. I drive to my house crying but you know, after time, I recognised it was true. I was s***."

About the author

Paul Vegas

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