Tottenham manager claims poor form is due to small home pitch

Mauricio Pochettino believes small pitch and teams defending deep to blame for slow start to the season

Tottenham manager claims poor form is due to small home pitch

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October 29th, 2014

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Tottenham Hotspur sit 11th in the Premier League table following Sunday’s 2-1 reverse at home to Newcastle United, with Spurs having lost three of their five games at White Hart Lane this season.

Liverpool and West Brom have also left with three-point hauls and Mauricio Pochettino reckons that the small White Hart Lane pitch isn’t helping matters as opposition teams are able to defend deep against Tottenham.

Only Stoke City and QPR have smaller pitches and it appears that Pochettino will be campaigning for an extension of the pitch so that his team can play a more expansive style of football.

“Our style means we need a bigger space to play because we play a positional game,” Pochettino said. “It’s true that White Hart Lane is a little bit tight and it’s better for the opponent when they play deep.

“On Sunday there were two shots from Newcastle – it was unlucky for us. And they play deep. West Bromwich play deep, Liverpool the same, they play very deep and it was difficult for us. We need time to adapt to our new set-up and to understand better our position on the pitch.

“In football there is always big expectation,” he said. “In Tottenham, in Espanyol, in Southampton, in Real Madrid and Barcelona, it’s how you manage the pressure in your situation.”

“We did a lot of work [on the psychological side] in groups and as individuals on the training ground, in meeting rooms and in my personal office,” Pochettino said. “But always you need more time to change the habits. We talk about mentalities and changing habits. It is harder to work on. The mental process is always more slow than the physical or tactical. We know that our challenge is to change this mentality.”

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