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Proud Pochettino targets another Champions League final after Liverpool defeat

8:36 am AEST 2/6/19
Moussa Sissoko, Mauricio Pochettino, Damir Skomina
The Tottenham boss saw his side suffer a 2-0 defeat to the Reds in Madrid, but he is eager to return to a European showpiece in the near future

Mauricio Pochettino wants to “experience this again” despite seeing his Tottenham side suffer Champions League heartache against Liverpool.

Spurs saw a stunning run through European competition reach a disappointing conclusion in Madrid.

They had arrived at Wanda Metropolitano confident of downing domestic rivals, with striker Harry Kane returned to their ranks following an injury lay-off.

But Spurs' title dreams took a hit with less than two minutes on the clock when Moussa Sissoko was pulled up for a debatable handball call.

Mohamed Salah converted from the penalty spot, while Divock Origi wrapped things up three minutes from the end.

Pochettino is now being left to reflect on a season which promised much but only delivered a fourth-place finish, with questions being asked of his future in north London.

The Argentine is, however, eager to take plenty of positives from 2018-19 and look to ensure that similar stages at the very top of the game are graced again.

He told BT Sport of his spirited Spurs side: “I feel very proud about their effort, how we fight.

“We were unlucky, we conceded a goal on a penalty. We were fighting, and we played so well in the second half.

“I feel so proud, a little bit unlucky. To start 1-0 down from the start was tough, we changed our plans but we are very proud of these players and these fans. We can be optimistic.

“That [penalty] was the circumstance we cannot manage or prepare for. You can never believe you will be 1-0 down after a minute.

“Mentally it was very tough, it’s about learning and experience, like Liverpool were in this position last year.

“I am so pleased to manage this group of players, but congratulations to Liverpool.

“The standards are so high, it wasn’t enough today. It’s a shame. You want to experience this again and repeat it. It is the best game in the world after the World Cup.

“It’s about trying, believing and building the journey so it happens again as soon as possible.”

Spurs have put all of the pieces in place off the pitch in order to enjoy long-term success, with a move made into the new Totteham Hotspur Stadium.

They now need that ambition to be matched on the field, with the club expected to dip back into the transfer market this summer after going through two windows with no additions.