Mauricio Pochettino accused reporters of disrespecting his players following Tottenham's 2-1 defeat against Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
Spurs put themselves into the lead courtesy of a deflected strike from Christian Eriksen, but late efforts from Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino meant that Spurs left the San Siro empty handed.
After the game, a reporter asked Pochettino whether the absence of first team regulars Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld had an effect on the outcome of the match, which prompted the manager to accuse the media of treating his players unfairly.
"You disrespect the players that tonight showed better qualities than the opponent,” he told his questioner, as quoted by the Guardian. “When my decision is to play with 11, you must respect my decision because I am the manager. It’s so painful to hear when some people are not here and you judge in that way.”
Despite the fact that Spurs ended up on the wrong end of the 2-1 scoreline, Pochettino went on to discuss how pleased he was with the level of performance on show from his players.
“It’s so cruel,” Pochettino said. “The team deserved much more and I think that was our best performance since the start of the season. The only way back to winning games is to play in the way we played.
"It’s not about learning and working on the training ground [on set pieces] – you need luck, too, and the right decision at the right moment.
“I understand football and I understand tough periods can arrive. After our win at Manchester United, I said: ‘Be careful.’ And afterwards, a tough period arrived, starting at Watford. The most important thing is to be strong and we are strong. We’ve shown tonight we will be the same as in the past."