Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham are still recovering from a demanding summer as they look to hit top form in the Premier League.
Spurs are unbeaten in the league ahead of Sunday’s game at home to Sunderland but Pochettino is far from satisfied with his side’s start.
The Argentinian criticised his players’ attitude during their Champions League defeat to Monaco on Wednesday and even said he was unhappy with the 4-0 win at Stoke last weekend.
Tottenham’s summer preparations were heavily affected by Euro 2016, with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris all involved in France.
It meant Kevin Wimmer was Spurs’ only Euro 2016 player to go on their pre-season tour to Australia and Pochettino feels his squad are still adjusting.
”It was difficult because of the Euros, they come late, we were in Australia and some players started to play with only 10 days’ or 14 days’ training,” Pochettino said.
”It is difficult to understand why in every game we have some period in the first half that is difficult to get the pace of the game and to manage and handle the game like we normally used to do.
”And then in the second half it is like we need that from the manager and the staff to wake up and say, ‘This is the reality’, we need to change and then say, ‘Now yes we are going to do our job’.
”Maybe it is because the pre-season was difficult and all that happened in the summer, maybe now we are in a process to settle all the pieces.”
Tottenham return to White Hart Lane on Sunday, looking to extend an unbeaten record against Sunderland that stretches back to April 2010.
Pochettino, however, said he may rotate his starting line-up after admitting Wednesday’s effort against Monaco could have an effect.
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