Mauricio Pochettino admitted that his Tottenham players gave up towards the end of the humiliating 7-2 Champions League defeat at home to Bayern Munich, which represented a new low in a difficult season.

The manager watched his team give everything during an entertaining first-half, in which they led 1-0 and created chances before going in 2-1 down at the interval. The second-half was a horror show, with Serge Gnabry, the former Arsenal winger, scoring four times as Bayern ran riot. The German champions twisted the knife with three goals in the final seven minutes.

Pochettino kept his players inside the dressing-room for some time after the final whistle but when he emerged, he stressed that calm analysis had to be the order of a traumatic evening. His message was that he and the players needed to accept the defeat and deal with the consequences.

“The feeling at the end when we conceded the three goals – it was like the team was tired and gave up a little bit,” Pochettino said. “Maybe that showed a little bit our frustration with the game because up until 82 minutes, the team were alive, we were fighting, trying to create chances to score [for 4-3].

 “I told you many weeks ago that this is going to be a tough season. After the final of the Champions league last season [when Spurs lost to Liverpool], it was a chapter closed and now the club is in a period when they need to open another chapter and decide a project – medium, long-term. You need to show your quality like a man first; to face [the defeat] like a professional, like a man. What comes after is the professional side. Now we need to be men and be strong all together; try to bounce back and change the feeling. “We had to take a risk after conceding two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half and that gave them space to run and you can concede like this. We are so disappointed. I feel so bad because when you concede seven goals it is tough. “But you need to face up to this type of situation. When you play the final of the Champions League, it was nice to put your face up after the wins we had at Manchester City and Ajax. Now I have to put my same face up and accept we were not as good as we expected.” Recall that Spurs have won only three of 10 matches in all competitions this season and, joint-bottom of Champions League Group B with Olympiakos, they face an uphill battle to qualify for the last 16 with back-to-back games against Red Star Belgrade up next. “It’s difficult to talk now,” Pochettino said. “I said nothing [to the players]. It’s a situation where we have to be calm first. We will talk tomorrow. We are not going to fix anything by shouting; when the emotion is on the skin. It’s more psychological now. To try to move on and no damage between us. “To be honest, after 30 minutes or the first-half, it was my best feeling managing the team this season. It is so difficult to accept how the feeling changed in the second-half. Nobody in that stadium expected this type of result in the end. It was a little bit of a strange game.”