Spurs should have been more clinical: Pochettino

West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster makes a save from Tottenham's Dele Alli (No. 20). But Foster was beaten by the midfielder late in the game as the sides drew 1-1.
West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster makes a save from Tottenham's Dele Alli (No. 20). But Foster was beaten by the midfielder late in the game as the sides drew 1-1.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted after a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion that his delight at the character his players had shown outweighed any disappointment with the result.

Victory would have extended Tottenham's run of victories in all competitions to six, but Pochettino was satisfied to keep his team's record as the only unbeaten Premier League side this season.

The draw was the least the visitors deserved after Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster came up with a Man-of-the-Match performance at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Nacer Chadli - sold by Tottenham to West Brom for £13 million (S$22.01 million) in August - put the hosts ahead against the run of play eight minutes from time. It was his fourth league goal in five matches. Despite that setback, Spurs equalised through Dele Alli in the 89th minute.

"We should have been more clinical but we showed character after they scored so late," Pochettino said. "I'm pleased with the performance. I feel very proud."

Foster made at least four decent saves in the first half - including denying Alli in a one-on-one and thwarting Christian Eriksen with a superb one-handed stop - when Albion had only 22 per cent possession.

The result left the Spurs a point behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, also on 19 points but second on goal difference.

"Yes it was a missed chance but not only because Man City drew (with Everton)," said Pochettino, who admitted that Alli should have put his side ahead. "We missed a chance to win, but it was a difficult, physical game."

His biggest worry now is an injury to Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld, who left the field on a stretcher after a second-half collision. "He has a heavy knock on his knee and leg," Pochettino said. "We'll have to wait 24 to 48 hours. Now his leg is very painful but we don't know (the cause of the injury)."

Alderweireld is unlikely to feature against Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow in the Champions League. Eric Dier came off the bench and took over at centre-back and may well continue in that role.

Albion manager Tony Pulis acknowledged that his side were heavily indebted to Foster for the point.

"If you look at the whole game, we have Ben to thank," Pulis said. "We looked as if half a dozen were still away on international duty."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline 'Spurs should have been more clinical: Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe