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Pochettino still 'fully behind' Tottenham squad after fourth defeat of season at Liverpool

3:25 PM GMT+8 28/10/2019
Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2019-20
Despite dropping to 11th in the Premier League table after a narrow loss at Anfield, the Argentine boss was happy with how his team "competed"

Mauricio Pochettino backed his players after a damaging 2-1 defeat at Liverpool which left Tottenham languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Spurs suffered a fourth loss of the season at the hands of the European champions, despite taking a first-minute lead via a Harry Kane header.

Pochettino's men held Liverpool at bay until the early stages of the second half, when Jordan Henderson fired into the net after meeting a pinpoint Fabinho through ball.

Sunday's clash at Anfield was poised to finish at 1-1 until referee Anthony Taylor adjudged that Spurs full-back Serge Aurier had fouled Sadio Mane inside the box.

Mohamed Salah converted the subsequent spot-kick 15 minutes from time to complete Liverpool's comeback win and re-establish their six-point lead over Manchester City at the summit.

Tottenham find themselves in the bottom half of the Premier League in November for the first time since 2014, but Pochettino is not blaming his players for their disappointing start to the campaign and wants them to stay united.

"I am behind our squad, supporting them fully," he said at his post-match news conference. "We have 29 players and they will all have the opportunity to play. After five years and a half at Tottenham, it is a time to all be together and show our support.

"It was a very competitive game today and we competed well. I am of course a little bit disappointed in that with the ball we didn't have the possession in playing and forcing them to play deeper. In that aspect I'm disappointed but we competed and we need to keep pushing.

"We were playing today against a very good team. I think Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe and we were very competitive."

Pochettino felt the late penalty call was a little harsh on his side, who end the weekend in 11th place, eight points outside of the top four.

"I don't want to complain - I need to accept the decision of the referee and the VAR," he added. "Technically maybe it's a penalty because there's some contact. But to be honest, the ball is going away.

"It's an action that you know is very soft. The penalty was given and we need to accept it's the decision of the referee or the VAR."

Son Heung-min was instrumental in creating Kane's early goal and struck the crossbar early in the second half with Tottenham still in front.

However, Henderson equalised for Liverpool four minutes later and Pochettino was left to rue what could have been.

"This season, we have deserved to get more points in the table," he said. "These things happen and that is the moment to stay stronger. 

"Maybe in different seasons this type of situation results in 2-0 or 3-0 for us in the second half but today it was a different way."