Mauricio Pochettino insists the pressure of leading Tottenham’s title charge is nothing compared to when he was first appointed coach.
Spurs take on bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa on Sunday, desperate to get back to winning ways after managing just a point from two London derbies against West Ham and Arsenal last week before being thrashed by Borussia Dortmund on Thursday in the Europa League.
It means Pochettino’s men are without a victory in three matches and they can ill-afford to let that run continue, with league leaders Leicester already five points clear at the top of the table.
The Tottenham boss, however, believes the team’s recent dip pales in comparison to when he first took over in 2014, as Spurs dropped to 14th after losing five of their opening 12 matches.
“Is the Aston Villa game now crucial? Crucial was last season when we were 14th in November,” Pochettino said.
“We have been in a good run. There is no doubt about the team. Sometimes you expect you cannot perform always the same. Football is difficult.
“I am happy with the team and now we need to lift the players because it was a big hit for us (against Dortmund).
“We need to finish strongly. If not maybe we have a problem but always you try to fight. The whole season has been good.”