Mauricio Pochettino has warned Kieran Trippier that he needs to improve defensively and remember he is a full-back after Tottenham’s scare against Wolves.
Spurs were 3-0 up at Molineux on Saturday but then conceded twice from penalties to claim a 3-2 win. While 20-year-old centre-back Juan Foyth conceded both spot-kicks, Trippier was largely culpable each time, foolishly attempting a nutmeg just outside his own box and then failing to track Jonny’s run.
Trippier had earlier set up a goal for Lucas Moura with a trademark cross, but Pochettino has reminded the England international of his defensive duties.
“The disappointment is massive to concede two cheap actions like we conceded,” Pochettino said. “I don’t talk about the action of the penalty — we need to go a little bit before.
“You are going to see or have the answer. We provide [Kieran] with the platform to go forward because we create the system and dynamic to put him in the best position to play. In a different situation, I think he is a full-back, not a winger.
“It’s like no different full-back in the world. When you are in possession and go forward, you need to be strong too when you are in a defensive situation. We always compensate.
“If you watch the game, Moussa Sissoko compensates that situation. If we put a player high, it is because in behind we have compensated the situation to give the time to go back.
“Kieran needs to improve in the defensive situation because in the last few games you have seen that we conceded a few actions. But like him, all the players need to improve in the defensive situation.
“We need to be more aggressive. Against Barcelona, Manchester City and now, we conceded very poor goals. For me, football is about when you don’t have the ball.
“The great teams like Manchester City, who won the Premier League last season, or Barcelona or Real Madrid, when they don’t have the ball they fight like the most humble player.
“That is the balance which is important to generate or create in a team if you want to be close to winning titles.”
Tottenham have already thrown away leads against Watford (twice), Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven this season and, having nearly done so again at Wolves, captain Hugo Lloris has urged his teammates to add some pragmatism to Pochettino’s philosophy and learn when to simply see out the game.
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