Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham are developing a winning mentality and that their progress this season owes to them learning from their experiences.
They have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since his arrival in 2014, and remain in the top three of the Premier League despite injuries to influential players and two transfer windows passing without a signing being made.
Pochettino has been critical of his team’s mentality after poor results ended their hopes of challenging for the title, but their performances across their Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund demonstrated a maturity that was missing at the same stage against Juventus last year.
Juve’s approach, which Pochettino believes included pressuring match officials with the presence of senior figures including Pavel Nedved, was one the Spurs manager felt his club needed to learn from.
Spurs’ bid for the 2016 title had also been undermined by inexperience when they dropped points in a defining fixture against rivals Chelsea, and the Argentinian said: “That is experience, through learning through history; competing in that level is not the same.
“To play a semi-final or quarter-final of the Europa League as a quarter-final in the Champions League, it’s completely different.
“You know our competition is not only the talent on the pitch, dribbling, scoring goals or building from the back, it’s how you approach, how you spend your energy and how you manage your energy in your mind.
“When a team wins an important trophy it’s not only because we have good players or manager or coaching staff, it’s having great people, a board, there that are thinking in winning and provide the structure for a winning mentality. It’s so important.
“One game when there is 11 versus 11 players; around the pitch you need to manage properly too, because that business is like this. If we don’t understand that we are so naive; it’s so important to have the support.”
Pochettino is due to sit in the stands when Spurs visit his former team Southampton after receiving a two-match touchline ban for his conduct following defeat at Burnley last month.
“I’m allowed to go to the changing room and everything; I’m just not allowed to be sitting on the bench,” he explained.
“I trust (my assistant Jesus Perez) and his decisions. It’ll be a radio, a walkie-talkie (we use to communicate). We already use these, with our analysts.”
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