Jose Mourinho dug out his Tottenham players after being denied victory late on by Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday, in a result which could have huge implications for Spurs’ hopes of playing Champions League football next term.
Harry Kane’s brace had the north London outfit on course for three points, and three points that would have lifted them above Chelsea and into fourth.
But Joe Willock, on loan from Arsenal, fired the relegation-threatened Magpies level with five minutes to play in the north east.
And while Spurs still move up to fifth above Liverpool and West Ham, there is still a two-point cushion between them and Chelsea in fourth despite the fact the Blues were beaten 5-2 by West Brom at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Mourinho could not hide his frustrations post-match with the league now the only route via which they can secure Champions League qualification after being knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb.
The Portuguese hit out at the “mistakes” of his players and was also annoyed that talismanic frontman Kane – who has 29 goals and 16 assists in 41 games now this season – missed a chance to make it 3-1 shortly before Willock’s equaliser.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Mourinho said: “I am frustrated. We needed to win the match and we came to win.
“We were not far from winning it but, at the same time, we created some instability on the game with so many individual defensive mistakes that we made.
“We always gave Newcastle a chance to be in the game. Of course, we had the biggest chance of the game to make it 3-1 and kill it, then we concede a game the next minute.”
Asked about his record for managing teams known to be good at holding on to leads, Mourinho added: “Same coach, different players.”
Quizzed then about whether there is more work to do on the training ground, the Spurs manager continued: “I don’t think so. We work well, we work hard.
“But there are mistakes which I probably shouldn’t even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have.
“Looking at the second goal, it’s easy to understand because there’s three different moments – the cross, the ball at the far post where they won it, and then the ball in the face of the goal where our two centre-backs were in position. You can analyse it easily.”
Goalscorer Kane, who leads the Premier League Golden Boot race after moving one clear of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, was also naturally frustrated that his side couldn’t hold on to all three points.
The England captain told the BBC: “Their [first] goal woke us up a little bit if I’m being honest. We reacted really well and scored two quick goals then finished the half well.
“We didn’t take that momentum with us [into the second half] and allowed Newcastle back into the game. It’s always hard to respond with four or five minutes to go.”
“Whenever you are ahead in a game, as we have been a lot this season, and you give the lead away in the last 5-10 minutes, it’s always hard to take.
“I feel like we could have played better in the second half. We were a bit sloppy. We didn’t take our chances and got punished for it.
“I think we had some good chances. The final ball, final pass or final touch weren’t quite there. That’s the fine margins. We need to play better. We need to dust ourselves off and go again next week.”
Spurs return to action against second-placed Manchester United next Sunday (4.30pm) before taking on European-chasing Everton the following Friday.
After that, Mourinho’s charges face Southampton before going head-to-head with champions elect Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday April 25, with it having been confirmed 8,000 fans will be allowed inside Wembley.