Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to see Danny Rose show some emotion after being left out of Tottenham's north London derby defeat to Arsenal.
Rose – who was fined by the club for criticising their wage structure in pre-season – was left out of Pochettino's squad for the 2-0 loss at the Emirates last time out in the Premier League.
Rumours began to circulate that the pair had endured a training ground bust-up, and although the England international refuted such claims in an interview on Wednesday, he did say that the omission left him "fuming".
"He never showed that feeling [that he was angry] to me," Pochettino told reporters at a media conference ahead of Saturday's meeting with West Brom.
"That's why it surprised me when you asked me, because the day before we had a conversation and he never showed me that he was angry.
"Of course, disappointed, yes, because all the players always want to be involved in the game.
"I understand if after he was angry, like other players who do not play, and I like it when players feel that emotion because it looks like they're interested in helping the team and want to play.
"He was normal, his behaviour. You can ask me about him or [Georges-Kevin] N'Koudou, who wasn't involved, or Paulo Gazzaniga or Kieran Trippier or Ben Davies.
"If you say they were upset? Of course. They were disappointed? Of course. They were angry, fuming? Of course, because they want to play. Michel Vorm is the same.
"But I am the boss - that [anger at being left out] is the problem for the players."
Rose hinted at wanting an exit before the start of the season and this latest episode will do little to quash reports of him angling for a move.
However, Pochettino was not eager to discuss the left-back's future.
"It's not a moment to talk about that," the Spurs boss added. "All the players have contracts, they're involved in our project.
"You cannot guess what happens in the future. It's about arriving at the moment and taking the best decision for the club."
On a lighter note, Pochettino revealed Erik Lamela is closing in on a return after 13 months out with serious hip problems.
The winger played for Spurs' Under-23s last Saturday and will likely be involved for them again this weekend, with Pochettino letting Lamela decide when he is ready to be named in a first-team squad.
"We are waiting, but maybe we decide, yes, to play him in the Under-23s [on Saturday]," he said. "Tomorrow [Friday] we need to wait.
"Maybe in his mind he says: 'Gaffer, if you want, I am ready again to be available if you believe I can help the team'."