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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Tottenham focus has changed

The noises coming out of Tottenham from this group of players are the noises the successful make. The difference now in what we are hearing to what we were hearing before Mauricio Pochettino took over is immense.

Before all we heard was that it is going to be a tough game and so on. It was not winners talk, it was the noise of a trier. The message we were giving out, without intending to, had an air of we'll try, but we don't expect to succeed. Winners don't give ut that vibe, their message is yes it will be tough, but we have to overcome that. Their message is we have to find a way because we are expected to succeed.

You listen to a lot of interviews now, especially Pochettino himself and there are no excuses. Fixture pile up, we have to deal with it, injuries, we have to deal with it, long journeys in Europe, we have to deal with it. If you want to be a winner you have to face challenges and overcome them, not back away from them or hope you'll succeed. You plan and put that plan into action, the key is your total belief in what you are doing. If you have total belief you'll find a way to overcome anything.

Eric Dier spoke after the West Ham game and revealed Pochettino had had words with him because some on his passes weren't up to standard. he revealed the players can't rest on their laurels, they can't afford to think they have made it, they have to give it 100% whatever the game situation and they have to play at the fast pace Pochettino demands for the full 94 minutes or so.

Mousa Dembele says it's down to him, he has to improve to get games, he has, Alderweireld talking about White Hart Lane being a difficult place to come. he is planting a seed to grow in other teams, each result where we don't pose adds to that. When a side believe White Hart Lane is a difficult place to come it makes their job that much harder because subconsciously they are already conceding the initiative to us.

Pressure can get to players so outside expectation, outside pressure has to be kept to a minimum. That may sound counterproductive to giving a positive message, but the old cliche about one game at a game has more truth in it that people realise. If you want to win a league you don't single out the big games and give more effort in those. You have to have the players realise the importance of the three points in that particular game and how it is one of 38 steps to achieving the desired goal. 

You remind them of the goal and reinforce the importance of the three points each and every game to keep them focused. You don't assume they will they will recall it and motivate themselves, you remind them of the importance so they can then motivate themselves. Motivating yourself is easier if the group around you are motivating themselves, it all feeds one another and creates an atmosphere. 

You have to have each player realising how this particular game fits into the whole picture, then you are more likely to get a motivated player, especially if that player has totally bought into what you are trying to do.

If you are not playing it is tough mentally, you want to contribute and you feel you are not, you feel like an outsider. A player has to find a way to deal with that and for me a sports psychologist can help with that. If he can train a player to think along the right lines then the club and the player will see the benefit. I rarely now hear supporters saying XYZ should be given a run in the team, those fans seem to have grasped the fact you have to take your chance, you have to perform at once to deserve to be picked, not picked out of charity to see if you will be any good. One is a winning mentality, one is a losing mentality. 

Winning is a cutthroat business. It is about the bottom line. What did you actually produce, not what can you produce, not what could you produce, but what did you produce. Then, how can you improve upon that next time. That is a winning mentality.

Andros Townsend now has to react in a positive way to his recent outburst. That is gone, that has to be forgotten. It's up to him now and when he gets his chance he has to produce. He should have been really been taking note in training of what Pochettino wants him to do and working out how he can best do it, how he can do it in a better way than he has so far. he can't just think he can go out and produce the same thing because it isn't good enough. Simply repeating what isn't good enough, isn't good enough.

I'm expecting him to play against Qarabag and I'll be very interested in his performance, it should tell us a lot. It may well define whether he has a future at Tottenham or not because if he grasps the mental side the way Dembele and Lamela have, then he could yet force his way back into the picture. It si entirely down to him though.

Further Tottenham articles from THBN
Important Europa League game
Chances created and conceded, where do Spurs sit in the table?
VIDEO: Full Kane individual performance vs West Ham
Dembele improvement is no accident
Dembele's hidden messages


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