Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on September 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK /
Agence France-Presse

Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham deserve a party given their strong start to the Premier League season amid off-field problems.

Spurs sit fifth in the table, two points off the top, after claiming six wins from their opening eight matches, including a 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The standard of their performances has come in for criticism, though, especially on Saturday, when they scrapped to a 1-0 win over 10-man Cardiff City in front of a sparse crowd at Wembley.

That match came just three days on from a 4-2 home defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League, a result that leaves them third in their group with no points from a possible six.

However, given the delay in the completion of the White Hart Lane renovation work and the fact they made no signings during the transfer window, Pochettino sees no reason to complain about their efforts.

“It’s a strange feeling,” said the Spurs boss. “I think people always expect that when you have a good season and expect the next season to be better, and the season after better and better. But I think the problem is that we have improved a lot in the last year.

“To take us to the next step, we have to finish the training ground and the stadium. And people talk too much about Tottenham, [saying] ‘Tottenham must win titles to improve’, but that’s not true.

“We need to finish our stadium, training ground and provide the team and the fans to feel home and happy and then invest in the team and work hard. That’s not an excuse.

“We take our decision to think about football and the club, too, while our contenders only think about football and try and improve the team only to win. And that’s a massive difference between us and the rest of the contenders.

“We can win a title but it’s not compulsory to win a title, that’s the difference. [It is] compulsory to the team that has spent a lot of money but it’s not the case for us.

“With our circumstances, I think we need to party!”

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