Pochettino reinvigorated after Brighton defeat left Spurs boss feeling 'dead'

Losing before the international break left Mauricio Pochettino feeling "dead", but he is now ready to lead Tottenham through a tough spell.

Despite a poor run that has left Tottenham ninth, Mauricio Pochettino insists his faith in his players is unwavering.   -  Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino's spirits were lifted during the international break, having felt "dead" after Tottenham's defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

A difficult season for Spurs plunged new depths when it followed up a 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on October 1 by losing 3-0 at Brighton in the Premier League four days later.

Pochettino was downbeat at the start of the international break, during which he travelled to the Aspire Global Summit in Qatar and addressed several ex-professionals.

But ahead of hosting Watford on Saturday, the former Southampton boss was able to consider a more positive outlook.

"We had an offer a few months ago to go to Aspire," he told a news conference. "I was talking there for one and a half hours, in front of 100 people, 50 clubs.

"All the big clubs in the world were there, ex-team-mates like [Santiago] Solari, Hernan Crespo, people I met like Tim Cahill - now I have a very good view of him, it was amazing to spend time with him.

"It was like a medicine. We flew at 8am on Sunday [after Brighton on the Saturday] and I was dead. Jesus [Perez, his assistant], too.

"We arrived and it was difficult to find the energy and then to talk about Tottenham and our ideas and philosophy and football. It was most difficult thing, but we found the energy.

"It was a football drama, not a life drama. We lose a few games. Most important is to not go away, most important is to face the problems and find a solution."

Despite a poor run that has left Tottenham ninth, Pochettino insists his faith in his players is unwavering.

"In this type of situation, the most important thing is to be all together and show a strong face to the problems," he said. "Face the problems and talk a lot because the most important thing is that players feel support and trust from the manager. That belief is important.

"I trust 200 per cent in them and believe that they have the capacity and potential to win the games and turn this situation around. This type of situation happens at all clubs sooner or later.

"We have confidence that we have the quality. It is only a matter of time to make things clear. We need to help them perform because they are the principal actors on the pitch who will provide the victories."

Kane handled racism row perfectly

Pochettino hailed stand-in Spurs captain Harry Kane as a "natural leader" as he reflected on the England skipper's response to the racism row in Bulgaria. Kane will take the Spurs armband in the absence of injured goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the coming months, while he is also England's captain.

The striker's role with the Three Lions put him at the forefront of the controversial Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday, which was twice stopped due to racist abuse from the crowd.

Kane stood by his team-mates as they followed UEFA's protocol and ultimately saw out a 6-0 win, later describing his pride at the way England players had acted in testing circumstances.

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Harry Kane celebrates after scoring England's sixth goal against Bulgaria.   -  Getty Images

 

Pochettino, discussing Kane's more prominent Tottenham role on Thursday, said: "He's become a natural leader. He's great. His commitment, not only for Tottenham but the national team, is fantastic for England and Tottenham.

"We will miss Hugo for a few months and to have Harry to step up is important, like others who are important and mature. They will step up and handle problems when they happen like this. It's good to see how he behaved and of course he showed great maturity."

Asked specifically about the Bulgaria match, the Spurs boss added: "I'm going to respect players always. The way Harry behaved was top.

"The way he handled the situation on Monday was exemplary. He showed calm, followed the rules. We're so proud of how he behaved.

"But of course, when you're on the touchline, you need to understand the players always have rights and it's difficult to be in their position, know how they feel when they suffer abuse like this. That's why I will always support my players.

"Harry handled everything perfectly, I want to congratulate him. He was calm, the situation was always under control. He showed great maturity in these situations which are not always easy to manage."

As well as missing Lloris, Tottenham are waiting for news on star midfielder Christian Eriksen, who suffered a dead leg on international duty with Denmark.

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