Mauricio Pochettino is considering appealing against the £10,000 fine and two-match touchline ban he has been given for arguing with referee Mike Dean.
The Tottenham manager had accepted a charge of improper conduct and apologised for the incident at the final whistle of their 2-1 defeat at Burnley on February 23, when he confronted Dean on the pitch.
Pochettino, though, is “shocked” at the extent of a punishment he described as “unfair”, which would leave him in the stands for both Saturday’s fixture at his former club Southampton and against Liverpool on March 31.
[1/2] Mauricio Pochettino has been fined £10,000 and will serve a two-match touchline ban following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing. pic.twitter.com/lrik2KC8te
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) March 6, 2019
He is still waiting for the Football Association’s explanation and is considering his options, partly because he believes the indiscretion to be his first in English football.
“It wasn’t the idea to appeal,” said Pochettino, 47. “Because in my mind it wasn’t a big deal and it wasn’t the best way to complain or talk with the referee, but I never expected this type of situation.
“Now I need to think. I need to see the reasons why and then we’ll see what happens.
“I am a little bit in shock because it is completely unfair.
“It’s my seventh season in England and you can see my behaviour from day one. I was a coach, a manager, a person who wanted to help the Premier League (and) the FA, someone who tried to emphasise, understand and behave to try to help the referees and football and always to try to improve our game.
“It is my first time here that I’m maybe not completely right in my behaviour but I feel this is too much. I feel a little bit sad and disappointed.
“It’s unbelievable, no?”
Spurs could yet be strengthened for Saturday’s fixture by the potential return to fitness of the influential Dele Alli, who has trained following a hamstring injury and faces a late fitness test.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 7, 2019
Kieran Trippier is expected to miss out owing to strained gluteals, while Harry Winks will be assessed because of a potential groin problem before Pochettino selects his starting XI.
It was excelling as Southampton’s manager for 18 months up to May 2014 that led to the Argentinian being recruited by Spurs, and he revealed that the heartache that came when he resigned to move to North London was so tough that he cried.
“Of course a lot aren’t going to forgive me, but I still love them,” he said. “I love Southampton. The time I spent there was a great experience; I enjoyed it a lot.
“I cried a lot when I left. My family, too. It was one of the most important periods of my life with my family, that I enjoyed the most, which is why it was so tough.
“You change in your life; you need to move. But I still love Southampton, of course I want to beat them on Saturday but I wish them the best.”