Pochettino denies Kane led Tottenham's half-time team talk in Amsterdam

Mauricio Pochettino was "surprised" by claims that Harry Kane inspired Tottenham at half-time with a team talk in their Champions League showdown with Ajax.

Spurs trailed 3-0 on aggregate at the interval of Wednesday's semi-final second leg, but Lucas Moura scored three goals in the second half - competing his hat-trick in the sixth minute of added time - to send his side through to the final on away goals.

Speaking after the match, right-back Kieran Trippier revealed vice-captain Kane - not part of Tottenham's matchday squad because of an ankle injury - went "mental" in the dressing room.

But Pochettino says Trippier's comments may have been misunderstood and that skipper Hugo Lloris instead deserved praise for his role in inspiring the dramatic fightback.

"It surprised me," Pochettino said at a news conference.

"Listen to Trippier - he didn't say Harry was talking. It wasn't a team talk [from Harry]. He was there like Davinson Sanchez or another player not involved.

"Trippier said 'his presence'. Harry was there and translated confidence and of course emotion.

"But to be honest, I was talking. It wasn't a moment to talk too much. And in the end who lifted them before they went on the pitch was our captain, Hugo Lloris. I remember the words of Hugo Lloris as I was leaving the dressing room. He was shouting, 'We are close, we need to score one goal more, never give up and try because the moment we score we're going to be in the tie'."

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (right) celebrates his side's third goal with his players
Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and Hugo Lloris celebrate after the game
Ajax's Noussair Mazraoui (2nd left) sits dejected after the final whistle
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) celebrates his side's third goal with Ben Davies
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) celebrates his side's third goal with Ben Davies
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) celebrates his side's third goal with Ben Davies
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rues a missed chance for his side
AMSTERDAM , 08-05-2019 , De Marktkantine , Football , Semi final Champions League second leg , season 2018 / 2019. Ajax fans watching the match Ajax vs Tottenham Hotspur on a big screen. (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Tottenham Hotspur player Lucas Moura celebrating his 2-1 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur . (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM , 08-05-2019 , De Marktkantine , Football , Semi final Champions League second leg , season 2018 / 2019. Ajax fans watching the match Ajax vs Tottenham Hotspur on a big screen. (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Ajax player Matthijs de Ligt celebrating his 1-0 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur . (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Tottenham Hotspur player Fernando Llorette (L) celebrating 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur player Lucas Moura (R) during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur . (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Ajax goalkeeper Nicolas Tagliafico dejected after 2-2 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur . (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Hakim Ziyech scores 2-0 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Hakim Ziyech scores 2-0 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Hakim Ziyech scores 2-0 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur. Dusan Tadic (R) (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, 08-05-2019 Stadium Johan CruyffArena, Season 2018 / 2019 Champions League semi final second leg. Ajax player Hakim Ziyech celebrating his 2-0 during the game Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur . (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 08: Lasse Schoene of Ajax Amsterdam looks dejected after the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 8, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier (left) and Lucas Moura celebrate after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match at Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (right) during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match at Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 08: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris celebrate during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 8, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 08: Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur (not pictured) scores his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 08, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 08: Ben Davies, Fernando Llorente, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Erik Lamela celebrate during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 8, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino celebrate after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match at Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Spurs went into half-time at the Johan Cruijff ArenA knowing that three second-half goals would be required to set up a meeting with Liverpool in the June 1 final.

Despite Tottenham having it all to do, though, Pochettino insists he was "relaxed" as his side did not deserve to be two goals behind on the day.

"We give five minutes to the masseur, physio, doctor and sports science. When I arrived, I talked and showed some clips," he said. "I think it was the most relaxed half-time in the last six months. I explained to Danny Rose today. Danny asked me today, 'Gaffer did you really believe at half-time we could achieve it?' I said, 'Yes, I was so relaxed'.

"He said, 'Were you surprised?' I said, 'Yes'. I was so upset with destiny at this moment. Because the game was even. The difference was they were clinical in front of goal, we conceded and we didn't score. We check everything - the possession, the metres we run, the attempts, the intensity.

"In five minutes we checked everything and then we need to explain to the players what we need to do in the second half. It was of course [Victor] Wanyama out, and Fernando [Llorente] in.

"We didn't deserve to be 2-0 down. That's why I said, 'Keep going, be relaxed'. It wasn't a team talk like Arsenal, when I nearly broke my hand and I needed to scream, and I needed to spark the players. Because the players were focused. It was a bit unfair.

"Harry was there, listening to us. Maybe Trippier loved Harry was there and for himself it translated a confidence. I promise our captain was very good, with the last word and before the game too, with the last word. It's always our captain who talks after me. Hugo was brilliant."

Tottenham face Everton in their final Premier League game of the season on Sunday, before switching focus to their Champions League final clash with Liverpool on June 1.

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