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I was depressed after Champions League final defeat: Pochettino

After the final, Pochettino took a train to Barcelona, where he has a home, and “again you are like -depressed”, adding: “You expect after a week to move on and say ‘I want to be there again’.”

Despite his impressive achievements in management at Espanyol, Southampton and at Spurs, Pochettino is yet to win a major trophy and it is something that bothers him.

“Football, for me, is about the glory. There is nothing more important than the glory,” he said. “When you win, there is not another thing you can find like it. Of course I am suffering. This is my sixth season here and I am in an unbelievable environment here.

“But football is about glory; it is about winning. You can be disappointed sometimes. The challenge is to get back there and we are going to try make this possible and change the history of this club. Of course this is going to be difficult, but football is not an ordinary business. Difficult times can happen and arrive and you have to have different tools to fight against this situation.”

The suspicion – and inference – is that Pochettino was not the only one at Spurs deeply affected by last season and, while he argued that his comments about the players following the Carabao Cup exit to League Two Colchester United on Tuesday were taken out of context, he explained what he meant by “different agendas in the squad”.

Pochettino insisted that referred to the summer when several players – including Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose – wanted to leave but said that was now in the past, although he added it would take more than the four weeks it has been since the European transfer window closed for his squad to have the “togetherness” they need.

“The situations [with the players] that I was talking about are in the past,” he said. “But there’s some collateral damage or consequences that we need to fix. We are fixing problems at the moment.”

Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen reacts at full-time in the Champions League final.

Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen reacts at full-time in the Champions League final.Credit:AP

Pochettino argued that they need to “catch the time we lost” during pre-season. “There are two ways to start pre-season,” he said. “With no distractions, when everyone comes to fight. Or when there are so many circumstances which are open and you need to manage pre-season games. Then you need to start on the official games, the competition does not wait on your circumstances. They are already demanding that you perform. You performance is affected by your preparation.”

One difference Pochettino said he had noticed with his players was that they were not working hard enough off the ball. “We know very well we need to increase [our levels] without the ball – our aggressivity, togetherness, the will to chase people and be desperate to recover the ball as soon as we can,” he said.

“That is the key point that we need to fix. That is the problem.”

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Despite a summer of disagreement over the club’s transfer policy, Pochettino said his relationship with Daniel Levy, the chairman, remained strong, having spent Monday with him in Milan for the FIFA awards, where he was nominated for coach of the year.

“We move on from the summer,” Pochettino said.

“We were together in Milan. He came with me, Jesus [Perez, assistant], my wife and Steve Hitchen [chief scout]. It was a very nice time to spend together.

“There’s no point if you don’t have a good relationship. Sometimes it happens, as it happens in all companies, you cannot share the same ideas. That’s normal because everyone’s vision is different. We move on after the transfer window.”

Telegraph, London

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