‘Has been difficult’ – Tottenham player opens up on not playing week in, week out

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Harry Winks has admitted that it has been difficult to deal with falling down the pecking order at Tottenham this season but insisted that he was always focused on performing to the best of his ability when opportunities came his way.

The midfielder did not make a Premier League appearance for over two months following Tottenham’s 3-3 draw against West Ham back in October.

However, he now seems to have forced himself back into Jose Mourinho’s plans, having been named in the starting line up at Wolves as well the visit of Leeds United on Saturday.

Speaking about his time on the sidelines, the 24-year-old told Football.London: “It’s been a bit of an up and down season for me so far.

“I’ve had some good games when I’ve been in and I’ve had a few games where I’ve been left out and not been involved, which has been difficult.

“Every time I get the chance to play I want to play well and stay in the team, and that comes from working hard and performing when I get the chance.”

It was under Mauricio Pochettino’s stewardship that Winks broke into the Tottenham first-team and the midfielder has had to prove his worth again under Mourinho this season.

The England international admitted that the team’s mentality has changed since the arrival of the Portuguese coach.

He said: “We have a different manager now with a different philosophy and a different style.

“I think the culture of the manager is to win and as players we want that as well. Nothing has changed too drastically but we have the mindset of wanting to win.”

Tottenham’s pragmatic style of play has attracted plenty of criticism this season but Winks insisted that the players only care about winning matches.

The Spurs academy graduate added: “All we focus on as players is winning. The style of play is for other people to talk about, not us. We just need to go on the pitch at the moment and win, and that’s what we did [against Leeds].

“It’s important to play well and we as players want to do that. We don’t want to not play football, but ultimately football is about winning.

“If you win everybody is happy, if you play well and lose then everybody’s not happy.

“So the most important thing for us is winning and if that means come the end of the season we are up there or thereabouts then that’s all that matters for us really.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I thought during the summer that Hojbjerg’s addition would bring the best out of Winks and that the pair would forge a good partnership in the middle of the park. However, our leaky defence at the start of the season left Jose with little choice but to start Sissoko alongside the Dane in a double pivot.

Over the past couple of matches, we have started to see Hojbjerg and Winks work well together really well and there are certainly the makings of a really good partnership. However, I suspect that if there is one position that Jose would want to improve on in the January transfer window, it would be a central midfielder to Hojbjerg.

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