Harry Winks insists Tottenham’s players are fully behind under-pressure boss Mauricio Pochettino and are determined to get through the current “dark times”.
Spurs have been plunged into crisis this season after winning only three of their first 11 games and a horror week saw them follow up a 7-2 hammering by Bayern Munich in the Champions League with a 3-0 loss at Brighton on Saturday.
Pochettino – who guided the club to the Champions League final only five months ago – has had to defend his position, insisting he does not fear the sack.
There are clearly issues at the club, starting with a squad that needs refreshing, but Winks insists the players are still playing for Pochettino.
“He’s our manager. He’s been fantastic ever since he’s been at the club and taken the club to new heights,” Winks said.
“At the moment we are going through a bit of a rough patch, that happens in football. Every club goes through it.
“It’s important we stand up as men and get through these dark times, and hopefully we can get back to playing well and winning as much as we can.
“In the last six years we have come such a long way, we have become a title-challenging side.
“But we haven’t shown it this season, we have only shown it in parts.
“In certain games we have played really well but for the majority of this season we haven’t shown what we are about.
“It’s important we look back on it and reflect so realise it’s not been good enough, no excuses. The only way we can put it right is back in training and the next match.”
It has never been as bad under Pochettino as it was at Brighton, where Spurs – not helped by a Hugo Lloris howler in the third minute – put in an abysmal display.
Winks came on at half-time but could not affect the result and apologised to the club’s fans.
“At the end of the game we went over to our fans and apologised because we are Tottenham Hotspur and that performance wasn’t good enough.
“Brighton played really well but our standards are much higher than we showed and we need to perform much better than this.
“So to all the fans who watched this and all those who travelled we apologise.”