Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino has backed his medical staff even after they let Jan Vertonghen feature, despite battling a head injury, in yesterday’s 1-0 UCL semifinal first-leg defeat to Ajax.
Poch revealed that Jan passed the concussion tests administered by doctors, but minutes after he stepped onto the pitch, he headed for the touchline and appeared to pass out before he was assisted out of the stadium.
After the loss, Vertonghen said he was doing okay but Poch disclosed the club will keep monitoring his health.
His words, “I wasn’t involved. That was the doctor’s decision. The rules and protocol are so important, and our medical staff followed the protocol. Now he’s OK, he walked away, I hope he is OK, but you know very well that we need to keep an eye on him.
“We must protect the players, of course. I was out of the conversation, our medical staff followed the protocol and they decided he could continue the game, but then he started feeling unwell and he had to come off.”
“In this moment you are focused on the game, it’s difficult to think too much,”
“You must liaise with the medical staff. The most important thing is the health of the player.
“I wasn’t involved [in the decision] and I don’t want to be involved in the future. If they said ‘change’ [substitute the player], I’m not going to doubt them. I will listen and will never question the decision of the medical staff.
“For me, first of all it’s your life. We must protect the player and of course I was out of the conversation and our medical [staff] followed the protocol and decided it was possible to restart the game and it’s time to play again.
“But of course it was Jan in that moment and the following action that he started to feel unwell and we check him with the doctor.”
On the performance from his players, his words, “The attitude was there, but we didn’t find a way to play,” said Pochettino. “We didn’t show the energy that we wanted to show. They showed more energy than us. The way we conceded the goal was painful. They were more proactive than us.
“Our approach to the game was not good. I am the manager so I have responsibility.”
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