Tottenham Hotspur and Vampires have a lot in common right now. They’re both afraid of crosses.
I’ll see myself out…
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But seriously, that’s the biggest issue facing Spurs in their current three-game losing streak according to their manager Mauricio Pochettino who spoke to the media ahead of their tricky trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
After suffering three losses in a row (the latest came via a late collapse at Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League) for the first time since he took charge of the north London club back in 2014, Poch was asked about the type of goals they keep conceding, with four of the last six they’ve conceded coming from set piece situations.
“Yes, it’s true we concede a lot [from set-pieces] and we are talking a lot about it. It is like you put the focus on it and when the moment arrives it happens again, like you create a trauma,” Pochettino said. “The game that we lost and the way we conceded goals, it so painful. But it happens in football and we need to be strong. It is so important to keep our belief.”
Why have they concede so many from set pieces? Well, so much chopping and changing defensively in recent weeks probably hasn’t helped, but Pochettino said he will continue to rotate his team for the trip to Brighton to try and keep them fresh. Facing a Brighton side who are particularly strong from set pieces will be the last thing Spurs’ manager would have wanted. Tottenham’s trip to Brighton this weekend is a real banana skin for them.
Despite that, Poch says that he is “so calm” and that his team deserved to beat Inter Milan (who they led 1-0 in the 85th minute) rather than lose 2-1 on Tuesday at the San Siro.
There is a lot of talk not only about Spurs losing games but also the injuries mounting up (Dele Alli, Moussa Sissoko and Hugo Lloris have all been missing) and fatigue already setting in for most of their squad, many of whom went to the final week of the World Cup with their respective nations this summer then had no preseason.
One man has dominated the fatigue talk when it comes to Spurs: Harry Kane.
Without a goal in his last three outings, Kane has looked sluggish all season long despite scoring in two of his opening three PL games of the campaign. Asked if Kane’s lack of goals is worrying, Pochettino stood by his star striker.
“Harry Kane is one of the best players that we have. There is no doubt. He has not scored for three games – it is not too much. I think all strikers suffer some period when they do not score,” Pochettino said. “But Harry Kane is so important for us and if he does not score we struggle a little bit to win. I have no doubts that he is going to perform and score goals in the future.”
Amid a three-game losing streak for Spurs and a three-game goalless streak for Kane, his manager is backing him.
Time to deliver, Harry. No pressure whatsoever.