LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino believes his Tottenham Hotspur side are coming of age despite their fading hopes of Premier League title glory suffering another setback with a 1-1 draw away to Watford.
Saturday's result was Spurs' fourth successive league game without a win and they have gone from vying for the title to facing a battle to qualify directly for next season's Champions League.
But Pochettino was just relieved to see his side - sixth on 25 points from 15 games - avoid a second straight defeat with a battling draw against Watford.
The visitors equalised through Son Heung Min after Christian Kabasele's early headed opener and played most of the second half at Vicarage Road a man down following Davinson Sanchez's red card.
"You can't win games easy, especially in this league, but you learn a lot about the character," said the Spurs manager. "It was important for us to change the feelings.
"We were disappointed after our last game at Leicester (a 2-1 loss in midweek). We are in a period now where we are suffering things against us. It is good for the group to try and learn. It is a long-term project. It will be good for the future. You want to win, but in tough moments you learn.
"In the last few games, we have deserved more. You can't question the performance or character.
"It's so difficult to play with one man less. The good thing is we didn't concede and we were also close to scoring.
"We handled the game well as we played for 50 minutes with 10 men. But we were brave and went forward and didn't concede chances."