Mauricio Pochettino explains decision to rest key Spurs players for Brighton & Hove Albion draw
PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 April 2018
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Tottenham Hotspur could only pick up a point at the AMEX last night, as Harry Kane’s goal was cancelled out by Pascal Gross’ penalty
Spurs bounced back from the weekend loss to Manchester City by picking up a point on the road at Brighton & Hove Albion following a 1-1 draw.
Harry Kane fired Tottenham Hotspur in front two minutes into the second half, but the Seagulls, manager by Chris Hughton, equalised from the penalty spot moments later on Tuesday night.
Serge Aurier brought down Jose Izquierdo inside the area and Pascal Gross made no mistake from 12-yards to give Brighton a share of the spoils.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino made six changes to the team which lost 3-1 at home to City on Saturday and defended his decision to rotate his squad afterwards.
He said: “After the loss to City, we finished very late, some players needed to rest, some players needed to stay on the bench and I think we have a strong squad.
“Everyone is ready to play and it was a moment to give some fresh legs to the team, but we were thinking about trying to win at Brighton.
“We tried to add to the team fresh legs to match them in the physical condition and I think the season is tough for some players that play a lot.
“But I am always thinking about trying to win on the day, not (thinking about) the FA Cup semi-final with Man United on Saturday.”
The Premier League match at the AMEX Stadium saw Toby Alderweireld make his first outing for Tottenham in almost two months.
He impressed at the back after coming in for Davinson Sanchez who dropped out of the squad completely along with Dele Alli.
Kieran Trippier, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela were also taken out of the starting XI, but they did make the bench.
In came Alderweireld, Aurier, Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko, Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura.
The changes didn’t prevent Spurs from bouncing back after the frustrating defeat at home to City on Saturday, but they are not guaranteed a top-four finish just yet.
Chelsea are eight points behind their London rivals, but do have a game in hand tonight (Thursday) away to Burnley and a win would cut the gap to five points with four league fixtures left. It is still all to play for!
Additional reporting by Press Association Sport.