Dele Alli rescued a point for Tottenham with a late goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by rock-bottom Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure had opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a crisp finish that looked to have given the Hornets the points.

But Spurs midfielder Alli, on his first league start of the season, capitalised on Ben Foster's failure to punch the ball away four minutes from full-time and squeezed home from a tight angle.

The goal was checked by VAR and despite the confusion of a 'no goal' message appearing on the big screen it was deemed a legitimate strike.

The result will do little to ease the pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino, however.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino is backing Harry Kane to step in as a 'natural leader' at the North London club in the absence of captain Huge Lloris.

Lloris, who also leads the France national team, suffered an arm injury a fortnight ago against Brighton and is expected to be sidelined until the new year.

Spurs have had a difficult month, having been eliminated by Colchester United in the League Cup, before heavy defeats to Bayern Munich in Europe and the Seagulls before the international break.

But Pochettino is backing Kane, who has captained England for the past two years, to step in and fill the void left by Lloris seamlessly.

"He does not need to feel too much pressure. The most important thing is to not show too much responsibility on your shoulders and to act natural," he said.

"The problem is if you need to act. If you are not a real leader and you need to act, you spend energy thinking 'how do I need to face this problem?'

"But if you trust in yourself and you are a natural leader, then I promise you don't feel the responsibility."

Spurs host Watford on Saturday afternoon as they look to improve a recent run of just one win in six games in all competitions.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino played down reports of unrest at Spurs, highlighting his invitation to a team dinner.

Pochettino's future has come into question following Tottenham's poor start to the season following their memorable run to the 2018-19 Champions League final.

There has been speculation that Tottenham players are unhappy with Pochettino's methods after just three wins from eight Premier League matches this term.

Spurs were also humiliated 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, while the club were stunned by League Two outfit Colchester United in the EFL Cup.

However, Pochettino said a dinner invitation from his players shows they are still behind him in London.

"When last week, you receive a text from the player inviting you and the coaching staff for a dinner only two things can happen," Pochettino said.

"Because they want to say goodbye. Or because they feel that they love you and they want to show that they are with you.

"And I think it's the second. They are not about to say goodbye to me. To say goodbye to me, say goodbye here. Not inviting me to dinner."

Tottenham host Watford on Saturday, with Spurs languishing in ninth position and 13 points off the pace.

Despite Tottenham's struggles and uncertainty over soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen, Pochettino is not expecting many departures or arrivals in January.

"I never was keen on January and I will not change now because it is a tough period or tough few games, I'm not going to change the way I think or see things," he said.

"We are not going to force anything because we believe the squad is a decent squad. Now we need to be strong our decision was right, because we are suffering a storm now we cannot now change quick.

"Now it's the time to be responsible. First me and then the players, everyone. My opinion, the way I love to work, is that when you take decisions in the summer and then you need to be responsible and then you need to find the way to make that work.

"For me, that's it. I am not talking about January with anyone. I told the players, for me, January is too far away. Because they know me, after five and a half years, that all the rumours and all the opinion, of course we need to respect all and we respect all, but what is going to happen sometimes is the complete opposite that people are saying."

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has been the best coach in the Premier League over the past four years, according to Watford counterpart Quique Sanchez Flores.

A run of three wins in Tottenham's opening 11 games of the campaign has led to questions being asked of Pochettino's future, just four months after guiding the club to the Champions League final.

Spurs suffered heavy defeats to Bayern Munich and Brighton and Hove Albion prior to the international break and return to action with a home match against Watford on Saturday.

Watford head coach Flores knows Pochettino well from their time playing in LaLiga and holds the Argentinian in high regard, claiming that he has outperformed the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp in recent times.

"I love him. He is the best coach in the Premier League in the last four years, in my opinion," Flores said at Thursday's pre-match news conference.

"When I was last at Watford I thought he was the best coach in the way he moved the team and the way the team played.

"Of course now it is a difficult moment for him and for the team, but for me he is the best coach in the last four years in the Premier League."

Tottenham have lost more games in all competitions in 2019 than any other Premier League side and are ninth in the top flight after eight games of the 2019-20 campaign.

Asked if he expects Pochettino to stay in charge of Tottenham for the long term, Sanchez added: "It is up to you, the critics, not me. It depends on the results. The results bring in the critics."

Mauricio Pochettino hailed stand-in Tottenham captain Harry Kane as a "natural leader" as he reflected on the England skipper's response to the racism row in Bulgaria.

Kane will take the Spurs armband in the absence of injured goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the coming months, while he is also England's captain.

The striker's role with the Three Lions put him at the forefront of the controversial Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday, which was twice stopped due to racist abuse from the crowd.

Kane stood by his team-mates as they followed UEFA's protocol and ultimately saw out a 6-0 win, later describing his pride at the way England players had acted in testing circumstances.

Pochettino, discussing Kane's more prominent Tottenham role on Thursday, said: "He's become a natural leader. He's great.

"His commitment, not only for Tottenham but the national team, is fantastic for England and Tottenham. We will miss Hugo for a few months and to have Harry to step up is important, like others who are important and mature.

"They will step up and handle problems when they happen like this. It's good to see how he behaved and of course he showed great maturity."

Asked specifically about the Bulgaria match, the Spurs boss added: "I'm going to respect players always. The way Harry behaved was top.

"The way he handled the situation on Monday was exemplary. He showed calm, followed the rules. We're so proud of how he behaved.

"But of course, when you're on the touchline, you need to understand the players always have rights and it's difficult to be in their position, know how they feel when they suffer abuse like this. That's why I will always support my players.

"Harry handled everything perfectly, I want to congratulate him. He was calm, the situation was always under control. He showed great maturity in these situations which are not always easy to manage."

As well as missing Lloris, Tottenham are waiting for news on star midfielder Christian Eriksen, who suffered a dead leg on international duty with Denmark.

Mauricio Pochettino's spirits were lifted during the international break, having felt "dead" after Tottenham's defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

A difficult season for Spurs plunged new depths when they followed up a 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on October 1 by losing 3-0 at Brighton in the Premier League four days later.

Pochettino was downbeat at the start of the international break, during which he travelled to the Aspire Global Summit in Qatar and addressed several ex-professionals.

But ahead of hosting Watford on Saturday, the former Southampton boss was able to consider a more positive outlook.

"We had an offer a few months ago to go to Aspire," he told a news conference. "I was talking there for one and a half hours, in front of 100 people, 50 clubs.

"All the big clubs in the world were there, ex-team-mates like [Santiago] Solari, Hernan Crespo, people I met like Tim Cahill - now I have a very good view of him, it was amazing to spend time with him.

"It was like a medicine. We flew at 8am on Sunday [after Brighton on the Saturday] and I was dead. Jesus [Perez, his assistant], too.

"We arrived and it was difficult to find the energy and then to talk about Tottenham and our ideas and philosophy and football. It was most difficult thing, but we found the energy.

"It was a football drama, not a life drama. We lose a few games. Most important is to not go away, most important is to face the problems and find a solution."

Despite a poor run that has left Tottenham ninth, Pochettino insists his faith in his players is unwavering.

"In this type of situation, the most important thing is to be all together and show a strong face to the problems," he said.

"Face the problems and talk a lot because the most important thing is that players feel support and trust from the manager. That belief is important.

"I trust 200 per cent in them and believe that they have the capacity and potential to win the games and turn this situation around. This type of situation happens at all clubs sooner or later.

"We have confidence that we have the quality. It is only a matter of time to make things clear. We need to help them perform because they are the principal actors on the pitch who will provide the victories."

London is still something of a home for Jose Mourinho and another job in the English capital could be on the horizon for the ex-Chelsea manager.

With Tottenham struggling for form and reports of discontent in the dressing room, Mauricio Pochettino's position is far from certain.

Mourinho has been out of a job since he was sacked by Manchester United in December and the Portuguese is reportedly waiting in the wings.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS SOUND OUT MOURINHO

Tottenham have made contact with Jose Mourinho amid uncertainty over manager Mauricio Pochettino, reports SoccerLink.

Pochettino's future in London is up in the air following Tottenham's poor start to the season, highlighted by a humiliating 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

While Pochettino is not facing the sack, Spurs have sounded out Mourinho about whether the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss would be interested.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Spurs target Mourinho, Manchester United appear to be closing in on Massimiliano Allegri. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling at Old Trafford, the Daily Mail reports ex-Juventus boss Allegri is preparing for the job and wants Patrice Evra to join him in Manchester.

Real Madrid will play the waiting game for Kylian Mbappe as Marca claims the Spanish giants have set a 2021 target date of trying to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.

- According to Le10Sport, Atletico Madrid will look to sign Paris Saint-Germain veteran Edinson Cavani to a pre-contract agreement in January. Cavani's deal runs out at season's end and the Uruguay striker has been linked to Juventus and incoming MLS franchise Inter Miami.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United are ready to spend during the January transfer window following their poor start to the campaign. United are languishing in 12th after the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera.

Bayern Munich are tracking Freiburg star Luca Waldschmidt, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old forward made his debut for Germany this month.

- According to Tuttosport, AC Milan want €20million-rated Turkey international Mehmet Zeki Celik from Lille. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are also interested in a January move for Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, who is on loan at Besiktas.

If Manchester United want to keep Paul Pogba, it is going to cost them.

Pogba wanted to leave Old Trafford as Real Madrid and Juventus circled before the transfer window closed.

Now, Pogba has some personal demands for United.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA MAKES CONTRACT DEMAND

Manchester United star Paul Pogba wants to double his salary to £30million in order to stay at the club, reports Tuttosport.

Pogba eyed an Old Trafford exit prior to the close of the transfer window, with LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus interested.

A move did not materialise and now Pogba is looking to secure a new bumper contract in Manchester.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to the Daily Star, England manager Gareth Southgate is Tottenham's first choice to succeed Mauricio Pochettino. The pressure is on at Spurs, who are struggling for form as doubts grow over Pochettino's future in London. Despite Tottenham's dismal start to the season, though, The Sun claims Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to part with Pochettino as he feels it would benefit rivals United and Madrid.

- The Express reports West Ham have slapped a £100million price tag on Manchester United and Manchester City target Declan Rice. The Red Devils were linked with the England international during the off-season, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were unable to lure Rice to Old Trafford.

Bayern Munich are still interested in injured Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, according to The Sun. Bundesliga champions Bayern were hoping to sign Sane before the Germany international suffered a serious knee injury.

- The Mirror claims Champions League holders Liverpool fear losing manager Jurgen Klopp to Germany. The Premier League leaders believe they will not be able to convince the former Borussia Dortmund boss to stay at Anfield should he be presented with an opportunity to replace Joachim Low.

Madrid are ready to compete with LaLiga rivals Barcelona for the signing of Napoli's Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz according to reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport and Mundo Deportivo.

- Manchester United will demand £20million for Dean Henderson after re-signing star goalkeeper David De Gea, says The Sun. England Under-21 keeper Henderson is on loan at Premier League side Sheffield United but dropped a clanger in Saturday's defeat to Liverpool.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino hailed the determination shown by 10-man Tottenham in their 2-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday but he expected nothing less.

Spurs had defender Serge Aurier sent off for a second yellow card just after the half-hour mark in the Premier League clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Danny Ings then cancelled out Tanguy Ndombele's opener by pouncing on Hugo Lloris' error, but Harry Kane restored the lead and Spurs showed their grit to secure the points despite their numerical disadvantage.

It was an important riposte to a disappointing run that saw Spurs surrender a 2-0 lead in their Champions League opener to draw at Olympiacos, lose 2-1 at Leicester City and be dumped out of the EFL Cup on penalties by Colchester United.

"To be honest I am not surprised about the character of the team," Pochettino said about their victory.

"We have the character. Sometimes we need to realise that every time we compete we have to use this character in different circumstances. 

"In some games we struggle to show that, but we have an amazing squad, and amazing players. 

"A few months ago we played in the Champions League final, not because of luck, it was because we fully deserved to be there. We cannot have changed too much in a few months.

"I feel proud. I was so happy for them, my players, my squad, we have unbelievable players, only we needed to recover the spirit that we showed."

Pochettino was happy with the way his players responded to their setbacks and refused to criticise Lloris for being too casual for Southampton's goal.

He added: "In this moment it was tough, with the sending off and then we conceded in those circumstances.

"I don't want anyone to blame Hugo, in this action I want the blame because I demand him to do what he was doing. 

"We are talking about if not the best, in the top three or five goalkeepers in the world. He is so strong mentally and of course showed that he wasn't affected.

"Of course, this situation can happen, but I think the team showed unbelievable spirit after that. 

"A few situations that could be a tough impact in a negative way today we showed an amazing spirit and of course helping our fans, who were amazing."

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