EPL

Eriksen commitment not a concern for Spurs boss Pochettino

By Sports Desk September 19, 2019

Mauricio Pochettino has no concerns over Christian Eriksen's form and commitment ahead of Tottenham's Premier League trip to Leicester City.

Eriksen was linked with a move away from Spurs during the close season and his contract is set to expire at the end of the current campaign.

The Denmark playmaker was benched for Tottenham's first two home games of the Premier League season amid such uncertainty over his future, although he returned to the starting line-up to open the scoring in the 2-2 north London derby draw against Arsenal.

Eriksen still appeared to be operating some way short of his brilliant best as Pochettino's side continued a mixed start to the campaign – giving away a two-goal lead, as they did versus Arsenal, to draw their Champions League opener 2-2 at Olympiacos.

"No, I am happy with the performance," Pochettino told a pre-match news conference on Thursday, in response to a question over Eriksen's recent output.

"Maybe Olympiacos wasn't his best game, like the team. The collective performance wasn't the best from us.

"I am happy with the commitment of Christian. He ran a lot and was very committed with the team. I am not concerned about him."

Harry Kane expressed frustration at Spurs' latest failure to hold on to a lead after the Olympiacos match.

"That's the hard part to get your head around because we’re not young any more, we’re not inexperienced," Kane told reporters.

"We've played in big games for club and country. I can see why the manager is frustrated because he’s been here for six years now and we're still making similar mistakes to the ones we were in his first year.

"We've got to find a way to get around it, improve and get better."

However, Kane insisted Spurs' problem is not one of mentality, and Pochettino agreed – choosing to focus upon the recent achievements of his team as he called for them to make further improvements.

"We need to improve in this type of situation - leading against Arsenal, leading 2-0 against Olympiakos," Pochettino said. "We are not talking about quality, we are talking to be in this type of situation to manage it better.

"Look, a few months ago we played the final of the Champions League, we were not talking about mentality because we played the final. We got a lot of praise because we played the final."

Where Pochettino appeared more frustrated in the immediate aftermath of the Olympiacos game was with an accusation that his players failed to "respect the plan", something he expanded upon before chasing back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

 "We were talking at half-time that our positional game, the plan was different and that is why we changed after 20 minutes, we decided to play with Lucas [Moura] close to Harry Kane as a striker, with Christian on the right and Dele [Alli] on the left," he said.

"We all agree, for different reasons, we didn’t play in the way we planned to play, but this happens. It happens at Tottenham, it happens at different teams and the most important is to realise and to fix the problem."

Giovani Lo Celso (hip) and Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) remain sidelined for the trip to the King Power Stadium.

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