Dele Alli misses out through injury but Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura support Harry Kane in attack.
"It is easy to criticise the performance because we lost the game and conceded many chances, but the circumstances were the same when we beat Manchester United", he said.
"Maybe [if he learns this] he will play at a very good level and be one of the best midfielders in England. When an attacker does not score, people he must find a reason".
But Pochettino, whose side take on Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday in the league, believes any suggestions that Kane is suffering from exhaustion are misguided.
However, they were stunned by Watford in their last game before the global break, a result Pochettino said he saw coming.
"But, of course, for me I'm not disappointed with him".More news: WHAT'S HAPPENING: Rain, floods still in Florence's forecast
"The most thing here is the confidence and trust we have in him".
Pochettino confirmed the 31-year-old Frenchman, who was banned for driving for 20 months and fined 50,000 pounds ($65,545), would remain as the club's captain.
"Of course we have a conversation and he explained what happened".
"But Harry, after four years at the club, it's time to say thank you to him". Don't worry for me - we need to be anxious for the real things.
Pochettino said he was glad that no one was injured by Lloris, who was stopped at 2.0am on a Friday driving his Porsche Panamera erratically, having earlier run a red light. His perception will be "wow" and the reality is you still need to prove [yourself]. Then we're all men and women and we can all make mistakes.
Spurs are without captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli following the global break.
Forward Heung-min Son is available, but unlikely to play a big part after participating in the Asian Games, immediately followed by this global break.