LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino retains the love and support of his Tottenham players - and he has the dinner date to prove it.
The manager cut an embattled figure before the international break when his team followed the 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich with a 3-0 loss at Brighton.
His ability to motivate the dressing room in the sixth year of his tenure has been questioned, with some worrying he has reached the end of the cycle.
Spurs have won only three games this season and they looked broken during that harrowing afternoon at Brighton two weeks ago. They can ill afford anything other than victory in today's home Premier League fixture with Watford.
However, Pochettino has no concerns about the level of unity behind the scenes and he pointed towards a team-bonding meal that has been arranged for next week - and to which he has been invited - as evidence of it.
"When you receive a text from the players inviting you and the coaching staff for a dinner, only two things can happen," he said.
"It's because they want to say goodbye. Or because they feel they love you and they want to show they are with you. I think it's the second. They are not about to say goodbye to me."
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
When you receive a text from the players inviting you and the coaching staff for a dinner, only two things can happen. It's because they want to say goodbye. Or because they feel they love you and they want to show they are with you. I think it's the second.
MAURICIO POCHETTINO, Spurs' manager, on the dinner with his players.
The Argentinian also said that Spurs will resist the urge to make wholesale changes to their squad in the January transfer window, as the players have the quality to overcome a poor run of form.
Although Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso arrived last summer, they were the first new faces since January 2018 and there have been calls for Pochettino to strengthen the team in January.
"No, I don't believe (there will be changes in January)," he insisted.
"I believe in the players we have. If it is my decision, I am going to stick with the players because I know they have the quality.
"I never was keen on January and I will not change now because it is a tough period. The most important is to stay together. We decided the squad was decent and now we have to be strong that our decision was right. We cannot change quickly because we are suffering a storm."
Christian Eriksen, who has been pushing for a move away from Spurs, is a doubt for the Watford game today after he suffered a dead leg on Denmark duty.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS
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