Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino accepted he must bear the brunt of criticism for his side’s slump in form in 2019, but insisted things are not as bad for Spurs as a run of four wins in 17 games seems.
Pochettino saw another opportunity to win the first trophy of his managerial career slip by with a shocking League Cup exit on penalties to fourth-tier Colchester after a 0-0 draw on Tuesday.
Spurs have taken just eight points from their opening six Premier League games of the season to already fall 10 points behind leaders Liverpool, who also beat Pochettino’s men in the Champions League final in June.
But after five seasons of progress and praise for their Argentine manager, there are fears that a lack of movement in and out during a number of transfer windows has allowed Tottenham to go stale.
“That responsibility is mine, to create that dynamic for us all to be together and start to perform in the way that we want,” said Pochettino on Thursday.
“I think during five years it was almost all praise for Tottenham, how we are, how we work in different ways, how nice the coach is, how nice the coaching staff are and the club is.
“Now if we deserve to be criticised, we need to accept that. If we don’t get the result people expect then we need to accept the criticism.
“The critics can make you realise that we maybe need to wake up in something, to evolve, to find different ways to evolve.
“I am so relaxed because you cannot live forever in a happy world. Up and downs happen, that is life and especially in football.”
Tottenham were unfortunate in losing 2-1 at Leicester last weekend as Serge Aurier’s goal that would have given the visitors a 2-0 lead at the King Power was controversially ruled out by a VAR review for Son Heung-min being adjudged to be millimetres offside.
And Pochettino believes his side are currently not getting the results their performances deserve.
“We’re not so far away. Our performances are not as bad as the feeling and atmosphere that we create. I’m sure we’ll start winning games and performing well,” he added.
“The team is doing similar or better than last season in performances but the results are different.
“I do not escape my responsibility. Our responsibility is to keep calm, to work hard, be right in our assessment and help the players perform. We have quality players who are going to perform, for sure.”