Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham’s fighting spirit evident in their backs-to-the-wall win at Swansea is proof that Spurs players are buying into his philosophy.
Spurs had to defend for long periods at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday but Christian Eriksen’s 89th-minute winner secured a 2-1 victory which took Pochettino’s men into seventh place in the Barclays Premier League.
Danish midfielder Eriksen also claimed a 90th-minute winner at Hull last month, which came just weeks after Spurs had struck twice in the final six minutes to win 2-1 at Aston Villa.
“The character is very important, to show and fight in every action,” Tottenham manager Pochettino said after Sunday’s game.
“We are playing the right way and when you arrive in a different club with different players you always need time to try and put your philosophy on the squad.
“I am happy with the players, we are showing the character we want and we got the reaction we want.
“We have a lot of good players and young talent and players like Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane are very important to us.”
Kane’s header had given Spurs a fourth-minute lead but Swansea created plenty of chances either side of Wilfried Bony’s 48th-minute equaliser – the Ivorian’s 20th Premier League goal in 2014 – without managing to make them count.
However, even though Swansea had the opportunities to get something out of the match, Pochettino felt Spurs were good value for the three points which takes them above their opponents in the table.
“In football you need to score and we deserved to win because we scored. In the last few games we deserve more and didn’t score,” he said.
“We deserved more in the first half but then we conceded a goal and Swansea pushed us.
“We defended deep and maybe Swansea played better in this period, but in the last 10 minutes we were always alive.”
Swansea manager Garry Monk pinned the blame for a second consecutive defeat on individual errors.
Poor marking gave Kane the chance to profit from a corner before substitute Jazz Richards’ careless clearance allowed former Swansea defender Ben Davies to set up Eriksen’s low drive from 20 yards.
“It is sickening, two individual errors have cost us and we were not clinical enough,” Monk said.
“We could have scored a number of goals and didn’t. The second half was one-way traffic and if it had been a boxing match it would have been called off.
“We lost it more than they won it and I do not know how we did not win it. It is very hard to take.
“It is an injustice, but football can be cruel at times and we have to learn from that.”
Monk was unhappy that Spurs forward Erik Lamela went unpunished for what he saw as several poor challenges, including a swinging arm which left Swansea’s Jefferson Montero prostrate on the floor in the first half.
“Lamela had six or seven fouls and was not punished for any of them, which is strange,” Monk said.
“I asked the fourth official did their player touch the ball at any time?
“I don’t think he did but that is not the reason we lost.”
Have something to tell us about this article?