Spurs midfielder reveals he plays through pain and doubt in 50 per cent of games

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Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has spoken about how he is driven to give his all for the club every single day after making 50 consecutive starts for Tottenham Hotspur.

The midfielder has been an ever-present in midfield under three different managers since arriving from Southampton last summer.

The club’s official website have revealed that the midfielder’s start against Leeds was his 50th in a row for Spurs.

The 26-year-old has completed all 90 minutes in all but one of those matches, coming off as a substitute in stoppage time in the 1-0 win over Manchester City in the first game of the season.

When asked about making 50 consecutive starts, Hojbjerg told Tottenhamhotspur.com: “I don’t like to look at these things because, in the end, what’s important are the results, how the team is performing and what we achieve as a team.

“It’s nice to be involved, very nice, very nice to feel important, but this isn’t something I want to celebrate. I just want to try to keep working.

“Football… you never know what comes tomorrow, but you can make sure of what you do today. I’m very proud, my beliefs and ambitions are very high, and I believe in the way we are working, the way the club is going forward and it’s nice to be part of that. But… there is a lot of work to be done. That is without a doubt.”

The Dane already seems to have won Antonio Conte over, with the Italian describing him as a warrior following Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Leeds.

It is not hard to see why Conte has taken to the former Saints man, judging by the way he talks about his values.

He added: “It’s important to live football. For me, it’s a way of life. That’s how I’ve always seen it. I enjoy it, I enjoy the long hours, the extra work, the small details here and there.

“I like to take care of myself, but I also think, of course, if you want to be a big player, you take care of yourself in a good way.

“For me, that’s normal, that you’re aware of your body, that you’re aware of what you do outside of the pitch. That’s something I demand from myself and my surroundings.”

The Tottenham man admitted that he has been carrying niggles into many of the 50 games he has started since arriving in North London but insisted he is always determined to push through them.

He added: “In over 50 per cent of the games there is a pain here, a pain there, a doubt here, a doubt there, but luckily the mind is much stronger than the body and if you manage to come across that, you’ll come a long way.

“Again, for me, it’s not a celebration or a target to play 50 games in a row. I didn’t know! I try to make myself available and help the team.

“Then, it’s up to the coach to make his decisions. I will always be there to help the team, always there to give my all, pain or no pain, 50, 60 or 100 per cent, I will always try to give 100 per cent. That’s who I am.

“I’m not the most talented player that my team-mates will come across, but I am one who they can trust 100 per cent and know that even when it hurts, I will be there; even when it’s difficult, I will be there, because that’s how I grew up, that’s who I am, and that’s how I want my kids to grow up. It’s a bigger question than football. If life isn’t going your way, it doesn’t mean you turn your back on it, no.

“The last, and most important thing, is that I enjoy it a lot. I do it with a lot of passion and a lot of joy. I love coming in. I love seeing the people. I love working here. So, first of all, I do it all with a lot of joy.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Hojbjerg is almost a throwback to the old-fashioned leaders that were around the game until a decade or two ago. He is certainly a lot more professional and committed than most players of the current generation.

That is why I see the 26-year-old continuing to be a key player for us under Conte as he is one of the very few vocal leaders we have in the squad.

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