Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has played down the significance of his side’s disappointing 1-1 home draw with West Ham United on Thursday night, suggesting that a rare lack of cutting edge in front of goal played a major role in their failure to leave with all three points.

“With 45 years in football you see a lot of things, these games sometimes happen and we need to accept it,” the Argentine coach told the club’s official website.

“It was a game we deserved to win and the effort from the team was amazing.”

Despite lavishing praise on the dominant performance of his  Tottenham team, Pochettino will have been concerned by a clear lack of cutting edge in front of goal.

Spurs held a significant monopoly in terms of possession, having had 71% of the ball and their dominance was underlined by an astonishing 31 shots on goal compared to the visitors’ three.

However, the Hammers took the lead against the run of play after 70 minutes, when midfielder Pedro Obiang drifted infield and unleashed a superb strike that powered past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into the top corner.

The Lilywhites had to rely on an 84th minute wonder strike from Son Hueng-Min to level the contest and ultimately rescue a point but Pochettino was disappointed at his players’ inability to convert their dominance into goals.

“We had 31 attempts, created a lot of chances, tried to score goals in different ways and sometimes this can happen if you are not clinical in front of goal,” the Tottenham boss continued.

“Football has different truths and you can play in different ways and we need to be focused, critical and next time, more clinical.”

Failure to convert chances has not been a problem for Spurs this season. In Harry Kane they have the most prolific player in the top five European leagues in 2017. Thursday’s inability to capitalise on a succession of presentable opportunities can be attributed to a dangerous reliance on the England striker.

The 24-year-old has played a lot of football in a packed schedule over the holiday period. At times, the Tottenham man looked a little jaded and well short of his clinical best.

Thursday’s draw leaves Spurs in 5th place, three points behind fourth placed Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification.

Pochettino will know that if his Tottenham side are to have any chance of making the top four come May, players like Fernando Llorente, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen will need to do better in supporting their in-form talisman by sharing the goal-scoring burden.

Even Kane can not do it all on his own.


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