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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

Relaxed Pochettino not risking Alli return amid Spurs slump

Tottenham may have lost their last three games in all competitions but Mauricio Pochettino is not feeling any pressure.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO INSISTS he is not feeling the pressure at Tottenham despite a run of three straight losses in all competitions.

After taking maximum points from their opening three Premier League matches, Spurs have failed to add to their tally, losing to Watford and Liverpool either side of the international break.

A 2-1 reverse against Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday – having led with five minutes to go at San Siro - saw the club record a third successive defeat for the first time since Pochettino took over in 2014.

The manager’s mood has become increasingly tetchy in recent media conferences but he insists he remains calm and focused on the task ahead of his side.

“I am so relaxed, I am so calm, because I know football,” he said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

“In the same time when you win you get a lot of praise that sometimes you don’t deserve. When you lose you must keep the balance and accept the criticism and that people are going to think differently and of course try to find the reason why we lose.

“That is how I understand football and I accept that situation. That is why the balance is so important.

“When you win you need to keep the balance and when you lose you need to accept the criticism and keep the balance too.”

Pochettino – who says he is unlikely to risk the fitness of Dele Alli this weekend, despite the midfielder returning to training – added: “Our objective is to keep the focus and to have a very good balance in between all that appears, the perception and our reality, our reality of how we think and of how we see things.

“That for me is the most important. The group is ok. The group is of course a little bit anxious about winning games because it’s normal when you don’t win. 

“Sometimes it’s good to feel the pain, the defeat, not only the one, two but three. It’s so important to be clever and be strong. Football is like life, it’s impossible to keep 70 years of happiness.

“There is always a period of ups and downs and football is the same, ups and downs, and it’s so important to learn from that period and keep calm.”

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