Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has defended his medical staff for controversial allowing Jan Vertongh to play on a suffering injury in his side's 1-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg loss to Ajax on Tuesday.
– Miller: Spurs Ajax
Pochettino said the initial examination was successful down the tunnel.
After the game has been completed, it has become a reality.
Asked to be comfortable with the decision allow Vertonghen to return to the pitch, Pochettino said: "What the doctor's decision." The rules and protocol are so important, and our medical staff followe d the protocol. Now he's OK, he's gone away, I hope he's OK, but you know that's what we do.
"We must protect the players, of course
Vertonghen suffered a horrible-looking knock in the first half after challenging for a high ball and accidentally injured Toby Alderweireld
Players from both sides expressed concern and frantically waved Tottenham's medical staff on the pitch as the Belgian defender lay on the turf.
The Spurs physiotherapists assessed Vertonghen and decided he was able to re-enter the field
However, after the game Vertonghen insisted that he was fine while walking through
Pochettino was asked if the sight of the defender virtually collapsing on the touchline affected him or his decision-making.
"In this moment you are focused on the game, it's difficult to think too much," he said.
"I was not involved [in the decision] and I do not want to be involved in the future." If they said 'change' [substitute the player]I'm not going to doubt them. I want to listen to the decision of the medical staff.
"For me, first of all, it's your life
"But of course it was Jan in that moment and the following action that he started to feel unwell and we check him with the doctor."
19651100] The Spurs' boss is not happy with his team performance – Donny van de Beek is in the middle of the day. The attitude was there, but we did not find it a way to play, "Pochettino said." We did not show the energy that we wanted to show. They showed more energy than us. The way we conceded the goal was painful. They were more proactive than us.
I have the responsibility to do so. "