Mauricio Pochettino Says Spurs Are out of Title Race, Talks Mike Dean Incident

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2019

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on February 23, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has conceded his team are out of the Premier League title race after their shock 2-1 loss against Burnley on Saturday.

Sky Sports asked the Argentinian whether Spurs' title hopes had been sunk by the upset, and he said his team needed all three points to put pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool:

"Yes. We are very disappointed because there are 11 games, the gap can be bigger.

"Of course, there are a lot of games to play but today, in my mind, we had to win the three points to put pressure on them. We didn't for different reasons, our mistakes and only because of us. We cannot blame anyone, only ourselves because we were not able to win."

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Mauricio Pochettino head coach / manager of Tottenham Hotspur and his coaching staff have a disagreement with Referee Mike Dean at full time during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf M
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Pochettino was also seen angrily confronting referee Mike Dean on the pitch after the final whistle, and incident in which he said his emotions got the better of him:

"When you feel so disappointed and upset, maybe sometimes you make mistakes.

"We made mistakes on the pitch and I made a mistake after, I needed to go straight away to my dressing room and wait there, drink some water and be relaxed.

"But what happened, happened. I will accept everything that happens. Hopefully it is not going further."

He elaborated in an interview with BBC Sport:

BBC Sport @BBCSport

Mauricio Pochettino admits he "crossed the line" after confronting Mike Dean at Turf Moor. #THFC #BURTOT #bbcfootball https://t.co/h6dmelydRI

Here's a look at the confrontation:

Soccer AM @SoccerAM

Mauricio Pochettino was NOT happy with Mike Dean at full time! đŸ€Ż https://t.co/w0r0FTRUiI

Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes got the goals for the Clarets, canceling out a Harry Kane strike. The result leaves Spurs five points behind both City and Liverpool, and the Reds still have a game in hand.

Spurs had won their last four Premier League matches coming into Saturday's clash, reigniting their Premier League title hopes having previously lost two of three games to seemingly halt their momentum.

With back-to-back derbies against Chelsea and Arsenal on the horizon and the UEFA Champions League fixture against Borussia Dortmund following shortly after, Pochettino and his troops are likely to drop even more points in the coming weeks.

His reaction after the final whistle on Saturday was out of character, according to the Mirror's John Cross:

John Cross @johncrossmirror

Never seen Pochettino - or indeed his assistants - lose it like that with the officials like they did at the end of the game.

The incident could prove costly, as the Football Association will surely have a close look at the footage and could suspend Pochettino. Alex Richards of the Mirror expects the FA to launch an investigation.