Pain from losing run will be good for team: Pochettino

LONDON • Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has said that he is not concerned about his side's recent dip in form, even if Spurs have suffered three consecutive defeats in all competitions.

Speaking ahead of today's Premier League away trip to Brighton, the Argentinian insisted that losing is also a part of football.

"I am so relaxed, I am so calm, because I know football," the 46-year-old told reporters on Thursday.

"When you win you get a lot of praise that sometimes you don't deserve. When you lose you must keep the balance and accept the criticism and that people are going to think differently and of course try to find the reason why we lose.

"That is how I understand football and I accept that situation. That is why the balance is so important. When you win you need to keep the balance and when you lose you need to accept the criticism and keep the balance too."

Losing three times in a row is a first in Pochettino's four-year reign at Tottenham and comes amid wider concerns on and off the field that the undoubted progress made by him may stall this season.

A third straight season of Champions League football started with defeat by Inter Milan on Tuesday and losses to Liverpool and Watford already leave Spurs trailing the Premier League leaders by six points.

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME

When you win you get a lot of praise that sometimes you don't deserve. When you lose you must keep the balance and accept the criticism and that people are going to think differently and of course try to find the reason why we lose.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO, Tottenham manager, on how there should be a balance between praise for victories and criticism over defeats.

Things have turned sour very quickly for Pochettino, who less than a month ago celebrated a 3-0 win at Manchester United.

"The group is, of course, a little bit anxious about winning games because it is normal when you don't win, the atmosphere and the energy is different but that happens," added the Spurs manager.

"Sometimes it is good to feel the pain of defeat, not only one but two or three."

Despite his relative calm, Pochettino showed signs of stress in midweek when he snapped at journalists for asking why he had left defenders Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier back in London for the trip to Milan.

The Belgium and England internationals are just two of a host of Spurs players who have looked fatigued from their exertions at the World Cup without a proper pre-season to rest and recover.

Harry Kane won the Golden Boot for scoring six goals in Russia, but has not netted in his last five appearances for club and country and is another seemingly in need of a break.

The Times reported this week the players believe Pochettino's demanding training regime is not helping their World Cup hangover.

Spurs' failure to add any new players in the transfer window has exacerbated the issue.

But Pochettino has refused to use fatigue, a lack of transfer activity, or the delay in moving to the club's new stadium as an excuse.

"It's easy to blame or regret different things," he said.

"But I'm not going to avoid responsibility. When we don't win games, the first responsible is me."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2018, with the headline 'Pain from losing run will be good for team: Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe