The timing of the international break is a mixed bag for Tottenham

White Hart Lane 5

In touch with the top four, international recognition for their players, but defensive problems. There is plenty for Mauricio Pochettino to ponder.

Tottenham Hotspur and their supporters have every right to be proud of several members of their squad during this international break - notably for their in-form striker Harry Kane, and fellow academy graduate Ryan Mason joining teammates Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend on international duty.

Their form in the league has been a mixed bag and this break could be used to address a few issues for Mauricio Pochettino, especially their defensive frailties since the new year, as they have only managed to keep two clean sheets in all competition - against Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion. 

If he can think of a way to address that problem, it could lead them in relatively good health between now and the end of the season. Though they may be six points off the Champions League places, achieving it isn't beyond the realms of possibility, and it could be a significant break for the Argentine as he looks to put together a plan to generate enough momentum for the final eight games of the season so they can at least challenge effectively for a place in next season's competition. 

There are, of course, hazards for Pochettino with several of his players away on international duty - not least his golden boy in Kane but on the flip side in the injuries aspect, it gives some time for Hugo Lloris to recover from injury and only miss the one game against Burnley which takes place immediately after the break.

Some would suggest they have a kinder run-in, but it's imperative they end up taking advantage of it, though difficult fixtures against the likes of Southampton and Manchester City stand out.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch