Mauricio Pochettino has promised to make his players ‘suffer’ so that they improve on the field of play.
Four wins and five losses from 11 games have left the Lilywhites on 14 points, sitting in 12th place following the 2-1 defeat at home to Stoke City on Sunday. Success in the group stages of the Europa League is not enough for the former Southampton boss to prove his worth to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, and there are reportedly doubts circling the club concerning the Argentine’s training methods - which are said to involve intense fitness work to aid his team in the high-pressing game he is looking to incorporate at White Hart Lane.
Emmanuel Adebayor criticised Pochettino in the aftermath of the defeat to Stoke, claiming that no one is sure of what the coach is attempting to implement in North London, whilst it has been reported that two players who did not start in the defeat complained of severe fatigue post-match.
However, 42-year-old Pochettino, who is attempting to learn the lessons about fitness that Marcelo Bielsa still avoids, has admitted that he will not be changing his training methods, claiming that he needs to improve the ‘endurance and ability to suffer’ of his playing squad.
Speaking to the Standard, the coach said: “We come from a culture that likes to train. We do double training sessions, which are not customary in England.
“But we must improve the resistance to suffering of the group.
The English player is very intense and you have to improve their endurance and ability to suffer, so they can be aggressive for longer.
“Do you suffer in training so you don’t have to suffer in games? Yes, and they understand that through this, they will enjoy playing.”
Reports of his training sessions came to light during his spell with Southampton, and Pochettino has admitted that he works players hard so they never get comfortable in their current situation.
“When we were at Southampton, people spoke about the hard training sessions,” he added.
“But we’re not fools. We must also take into account that footballers become comfortable – I know this because I was a player, too.
“You think that if you do well through what you’ve always done, then why do more? But I don’t want them to be afraid.
“Our job is to help them grow, earn better contracts, be happier.”