Tottenham Hotspur had to look — and dig — deep within themselves in order to snap their three-game losing skid (losses to Watford, Liverpool and Inter Milan) with a 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, according to Harry Kane and Danny Rose.
It wasn’t about tactics, it wasn’t about quality or transfers made (or not made); it was all about getting back to the right mentality — the one instilled by Mauricio Pochettino in guding the club to three straight top-four finishes. The level of commitment and application had dropped in recent weeks, Kane said after the game, which meant they had to get back to being themselves once again — quotes from the BBC:
“Today was about mentality, getting around the pitch, pressing high and harder and I think we did that.
“We could have put it to bed and won 3-0 or 4-0 but it’s good to get back to winning ways. The gaffer will be pleased and we can build on this.
“I didn’t see the penalty in real time, but I spoke to one of their players and they said it was handball. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t, but it was given and it worked well for us.”
Pochettino was delighted to get the three points, but to concede such an avoidable goal during stoppage time is clearly the part of the game which sticks out most in his mind — quotes also from the BBC:
“For everyone who watched the game, they were wondering what we were doing. The way we conceded was crazy. One minute from the end, we should be more vigilant and focused.
“To allow them in that position, it is painful to concede. We won but need to work and realize we can not concede this type of goal.”
As for the much-discussed fatigue which Spurs are said to be battling due to a summer of World Cup action, and a shallow squad combined with early-season injuries, Rose says no one at the club is buying it. Spurs’ left back even went so far as to say, “Fatigue is a bit of a myth” — quotes also from the BBC:
“We’re over the moon with the win. It was a sloppy goal at the end, and I’ll have to look at myself and my positioning.
“[On fatigue] The manager is a big believer that it’s all in your mind and he prepares us in the right way every week.
“He looks at how much we’ve done and how far we’ve run and he prepares us right for each game. Fatigue is a bit of a myth and we don’t pay a lot of attention to that.”
Well, that’s certainly one way to look at fatigue, even if it flies in the face of everything every scientist and medical professional has ever observed. That should work out perfectly for Spurs in the long run.