Pochettino: Defence must improve

Espanyol Coach Mauricio Pochettino stressed his team must improve their defending, following an exciting 3-3 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

“We need to greatly improve and urgently so in defence because it is something that concerns me. We need to be more solid and not have to score three or four goals to win a game,” began the Argentine tactician in his post-match interview, before reflecting on the positives too.

“The team deserves fantastic credit for taking the match by the scruff of the neck despite the fact the result left us with a bitter taste.

“We played a great game until the 10th minute of the second half. We have intensity and we can improve a lot, once the team assimilates my ideas.”

The 40-year-old remains optimistic for the campaign ahead, even despite the fact the Periquitos sit third from bottom in La Liga with one point.

“The four games played so far have all been very close to victory. Eighty per cent of the time we have also been ahead in the score.

“During these games we have shown that we have played the way we should do.”

Pochettino and his assistant Toni Jimenez were both sent to the stands late on in the fixture, with the former defender disappointed with the move.

“It seems unfair, I always characterise myself for having respect for referees. But the words might have been misunderstood or they may have been from another person.

“I tried talked to the officials but tempers were raised.”

The tactician ended by commenting on the on-loan Inter striker Samuele Longo, who scored but was subsequently sent off for his celebration.

“We are a young team, and this experience will serve him for the future. He can give a lot but he also has a lot of growing to do yet.”

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