Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino calls Juventus 'specialists' in winning

LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino described Tottenham's defeat to Juventus as a "massive lesson in how to behave" on and off the pitch after his team's Champions League elimination on Wednesday.

The Spurs manager said Juve were "specialists" in winning, who had created a club-first culture and mastered the "small details" needed for success at the highest level.

Pochettino also suggested that Juve had employed some of the game's darker arts, such as putting pressure on the referee, in Spurs' 2-1 defeat at Wembley, as last season's runners-up progressed to the Champions League quarterfinal with a 3-2 win on aggregate.

"It's a situation that you must learn from," Pochettino said. "If we only see the stats form the two games, Tottenham was the much better team. Then in football it's not only about performance, stats, shots on targets, possession.

"It's small details. Juve are specialists, they have the habit to win, the habit to pressure on the referee. The owner stayed in tunnel before and during the game. It's a club with a culture to do everything to help team.

"It's a massive opportunity to learn not only on the pitch but [also] outside. It's two games against this type of club -- one on the pitch, one outside the pitch.

"With players like [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Georgio] Chiellini, with experience every season in the Champions League and two finals in the last three seasons, of course it's a plus. In different moments during the game, they can use that.

"It's a massive lesson to care not only on the pitch, but off the pitch. When you're going to win, you need help from everyone.

"We need to create [a mentality] like different clubs who win titles The club is first, then everyone is below. The club and the fans. The most important thing is the club, to create a culture here.

"That's what we need to settle here. The club is over everyone. And only the people that pay the tickets, the fans are at the same level. This feeling, we're capable of feeling this way, we're in a good way to create a massive club because we have all the tools to be one of the biggest clubs in Europe."

After the game, which was decided by goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala after Son Heung-Min's opener, Juventus centre-half Chiellini said "history" had played a part in the result -- suggesting Tottenham's was about falling just short, while Juventus' was about winning.

Pochettino did not dispute the defender's suggestion but said Spurs are in the process of creating their own winning culture.

"The clubs that have the habit to win is for some reason, of course," he said. "We're in a process of the club settling the basis to try to win, creating a culture of winning, it's not only about on the pitch and trying to score goals, performing in a good way. It's about the whole structure. You need to build a history of winning. For us, it's too early to judge us in this way because the process is a long one.

"When you compete against Juventus, it's 11-v-11 on the pitch but the history sometimes is a reason that puts success on one side or another.

"It's an exciting project but we cannot get ahead of ourselves. The balance is so important. The club will be in a very good position in the next few years to start to compete in the last level.

"Last season we complained a lot about not being able to compete in the Champions League, but this year we showed in the group stage against Dortmund, Real Madrid and then Juventus that the club is ready to compete.

"With the new facilities, the new stadium, the club will be stronger. The basis is there. Now it's to keep going and try to be clever and work hard. Then it's a balance. Maybe at the end of the season some players must go, others in. It's like the process in football at different clubs."

Spurs had two first-half penalty appeals for handballs against Chiellini waved away, while Juventus were infuriated when they were not awarded a spot-kick for Jan Vertonghen's lunge on Douglas Costa.

Pochettino said Andrea Agnelli, the Juventus owner, and their general manager Giuseppe Marotta were in the tunnel at half-time, and claimed their presence put pressure on referee Szymon Marciniak.

"I don't say Daniel [Levy, the Tottenham chairman] needs to be there," he added. "Only that Juventus was a massive lesson in how to behave. Before the game was Agnelli, after the game was Agnelli, Marotta. I saw at half-time how they put pressure on the referee. We had two penalties in the first half because two handballs, maybe Jan Vertonghen [on Costa] was a penalty but it's about balance.

"It's about small details that count a lot in this type of game, even games that both teams can win. I believe those details can help the club to achieve what we want."