Manager Mauricio Pochettino has accepted the recent criticism of his Tottenham Hotspur side following their early exit from the Champions League but said he saw “nothing wrong” in his team struggling to cope with their demanding schedule.
Tottenham were dumped out of Europe’s elite club competition after Wednesday’s group stage loss to French side Monaco and their woes were compounded on Saturday as their 12-game Premier League unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.
“If you want to criticise that (we were knocked out of the Champions League) then okay, I accept that. It is a little bit tough, and after Monaco I said maybe we cannot cope in both competitions,” Pochettino told British media.
“But I think there is nothing wrong. We are in a good position in the Premier League.
“You saw a very different performance between Monaco and Chelsea — that happens because to be fresh to play in both competitions is difficult. We need to learn about that and start to win games.”
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Midfielder Moussa Sissoko has struggled to establish himself at Tottenham since his 30 million-pound ($37.51 million) arrival in August and Pochettino suggested the France international has yet to meet his expectations.
“If you sign a player and you expect something, and you do not find what you expect… Football is not about money,” Pochettino said.
“Of course he (Sissoko) needs to work hard and show in the future that he deserves to be involved in the team.”
Spurs, who have won just one of their last 10 games in all competitions, are fifth in the table after 13 games and host 19th-placed Swansea City on Saturday.