Mauricio Pochettino admits defeat to Millwall in the FA Cup on Sunday will not only incur the wrath of Tottenham’s fans – but also his wife.
Spurs face the in-form League One side in the tournament’s quarter-finals as Pochettino’s men go in search of the club’s first trophy since 2008.
Tottenham are strong favourites, particularly given they are unbeaten at White Hart Lane this season, although they were given a scare in last weekend’s 3-2 victory over Everton, when the visitors scored twice late on.
Pochettino accepts he celebrated prematurely when Dele Alli’s third goal looked to have sealed the win and his wife Karina was quick to point out his mistake.
“I was mad,” Pochettino said. “When we finished the game, I saw my phone and my wife said, ‘Oh, what did you do? You lost your head when Dele scored?’ Never again’, my wife said.
“She always has ideas for the team. She always when I arrive home because she was watching on TV, she says ‘why this or why that’?
“She always gave the opinion, but always after, never before. We lose – ‘why play this? Why not that? Why not change?’
“In the last few weeks she has not been coming to White Hart Lane so I said, ‘better you stay at home because we keep winning’.”
Asked how often his wife has to tell him off, Pochettino said: “Only once. It’s enough.”
To stay clear of trouble this weekend, Pochettino may need Harry Kane, who has scored eight goals, including two hat-tricks, in his last four appearances.
Kane has pointed to his loan spell at Millwall in 2012 as a crucial part of his development but Pochettino has been reluctant to send his brightest young talents elsewhere.
Harry Winks, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kyle Walker-Peters and Kazaiah Sterling – among Tottenham’s most promising crop of current academy graduates -have all stayed at Spurs.
“In different periods, something like that can work,” Pochettino said.
“But when you give those players the opportunity to train with the senior squad, that is an even better experience.
“One example is Kazaiah Sterling. Next season he will be here and it means every day there is an under-18 striker training with Harry Kane.
“There is no better teacher to learn from. Where would we send him? It would be a completely different philosophy.
“But if you don’t have the opportunity to train every day with the first team, it is true that it is good to grow up in another place and come back.
“Here we try to provide the facility to train with the first team for any player who can cope with the pressure.”