My first season was harder - Pochettino shrugs off Spurs woes

Tottenham suffered a dismal week but Mauricio Pochettino is confident it can turn its slump around against Southampton.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino   -  Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino insists he has had tougher times at Tottenham after a dismal winless week that saw him seemingly question the togetherness of his squad.

After giving away a 2-0 lead to draw its Champions League opener at Olympiacos 2-2, Spurs lost 2-1 despite being a goal to the good at Leicester City last weekend.

Worse was to follow in midweek, as League Two Colchester United dumped Pochettino's side out of the EFL Cup on penalties.

This more pronounced slump compounded a general trend of inconsistency that set in during Tottenham's run to the Champions League final last season.

Nevertheless, speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against his old employer Southampton, Pochettino urged reporters to look at the bigger picture.

Asked whether this was the toughest point of a tenure that began in 2014, he replied: "No, the most difficult was the first season and then during a few [other] seasons it was tough in some periods.

"I am so relaxed, I become more relaxed in these 'difficult' or 'tough' moments. Then [you only need] one result.

"We deserved to win the game against Leicester. Three points more and we are third in the table. We are talking about a fantastic season and a fantastic performance. [People would say], 'Wow – what quality players and an amazing coaching staff and manager, we are performing in the best way and winning games'.

"The line is so thin between one or another and sometimes in football it happens that you don't have the luck you deserve."


After the Colchester game, Pochettino suggested transfer speculation over Christian Eriksen, plus Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld entering the final year of their contracts, had left his squad unsettled.

He moved to clarify that, while there were issues he needed to address during pre-season, these hinderances were now behind them.

"You ask me, and I give you an answer. You expect me to be honest," Pochettino said.

"Because you are so clever you ask me, you make me talk and after you use my words and my speech.

"For me, this type of situation that I was talking about, today is in the past. Of course, there are some collateral consequences and damage we need to fix.

"We are in a moment when we are fixing problems to try to be better and start to get the results that we expect. To win the games.

"We are not so far away because I think our performances are not as bad as the feeling or the emotion or the atmosphere that we create.

"I think that I am sure that we are going to start to win game, perform as well and we need time to find the solution. We are trying to find the solution."

Pochettino remains without recent acquisitions Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon due to respective hip and hamstring injuries.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos