Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has criticised his side's finishing despite claiming a fourth Premier League win in a row against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. Son Heung-Min netted twice in the first half, but Aitor Karaoke's side staged a second half comeback.
Ben Gibson's header halved the deficit after the break but Spurs held out to lift themselves into second ahead of visit of Manchester City next weekend. The north London outfit could have made the victory more emphatic however, had they taken one of several chances either side of the break.
It was Tottenham's first Premier League game since losing Harry Kane to an ankle injury which is expected to keep him out for the next two months. Pochettino was impressed by the display but urged his side to be more clinical after having 19 shots on goal.
"First-half, we played very well," the Tottenham boss told Sky Sports. "I think the way we played always pleases and it is true that this is how we want to play always, but we need to improve our percentage in front of goal, to be more clinical and score more.
"We created a lot of chances. In the second half, I think we tried to manage the game but we let the opponent score. In the end, 2-1 looks a bit tougher, but I thought we were much better."
As well as Kane, midfielders Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele also missed the game through injury though both are expected to recover in time for the mid-week Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow. Tottenham were nevertheless comfortable winners in the north east and Pochettino is confident his squad can cope despite the list of absentees.
"They are very important players for us but we are talking always about the team, the squad and that is the most important," he added. "We need to believe and trust in our squad, it is for that we sign players."