Mauricio Pochettino was delighted with the personality his side exhibited as a below par Tottenham edged out Watford 4-2 on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup fourth round after the game finished 2-2 in normal time.
Their place in the fourth round looked in doubt when Isaac Success opened the scoring for the visitors a minute after the restart, but a Dele Alli penalty and Erik Lamela strike looked to have earned Spurs the win, before Etienne Capoue’s late effort sent the game to spot kicks.
Paulo Gazzaniga proved to be the hero in the shootout for Spurs, saving penalties from Capoue and Domingos Quina, allowing Alli to decide the game with his penalty, with Pochettino left delighted at how his side dug in to earn the result.
️ Mauricio: “It wasn’t a great performance but the team fought and I think the personality we showed at the end taking the penalties and winning the game is a fantastic signal for us.”#COYS pic.twitter.com/MC0HcH2DWe
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 26, 2018
Speaking to the club’s official website post-match, he said: “I’m happy, and happy because maybe it wasn’t a great performance but the team fought hard and I think the personality we showed at the end taking the penalties and winning the game is a fantastic signal for us.”
Despite being the home side for the tie, Tottenham were forced to play the third round tie at Stadium:MK due to complications surrounding the completion of their new stadium.
It was a point that Pochettino referred to after the game, calling for everyone connected to the club to remain together as the wait until they can move into their new home continues.
He stated: “We need to be strong and all together. From the beginning of the season we have played eight official games, we are going to play again on Saturday, seven away from home and two at Wembley.
“I think we need to praise the players and praise the fans – we’re making a fantastic effort.”
Spurs return to Premier League action this Saturday with yet another away game, this time travelling to Yorkshire to face Huddersfield.