Four consecutive draws have seen us slip to fifth place in the Premier League standings ahead of the weekend’s action.
However, as he tries to plot the downfall of the Hammers at White Hart Lane (kick-off 5.30pm), Mauricio prefers to look at the bigger picture, which sees us defending an 11-game unbeaten start to the domestic campaign and heading into this latest test feeling fresh after a fortnight without club football because of the international break.
“We need to be positive because 11 games unbeaten in the Premier League is always difficult,” Mauricio told Spurs TV.
“It’s true that it’s better to win than draw but there are a lot of positive things – we were not in a good period last month but I think the team was competitive and that is the most important thing. We need to keep that, keep going, be competitive, be tough for the opponent and try to be more clinical in front of goal.
“(Today) is another derby where we need to be ready to compete. They (West Ham) are a team that’s aggressive and we need to show our quality, try to play and try to score goals to try to win the game. At the end, that is our objective.
“It’s always difficult when the players are away like they have been for the internationals but it was a moment to recover some players, to give more time for them to be available for us and I think it was good.”
Mauricio on West Ham’s recent upturn in form
“Because it’s a derby you cannot look too much in the past and look at a lot of things because always it’s a special game. It will be for us, and for them, a very special game.”
Will the memory of March’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham affect the players?
“No. We need to play, forget the past. The most important thing is to try to win the game. It’s nothing to do with the past, we only have to try to learn from it, but today it’s a completely different period, a different game, sometimes different players and we must be focused on trying to win.”
Did the international break come at a good time for us?
“You never know but it’s true that for us it was important, not in terms of results but in terms of trying to give more time to our injured players so they can rest and be available. Yes, I think in that way it was good. The Premier League is always a very tough competition, always it’s difficult but we are unbeaten after 11 games and we want to go in the same way, to keep the same run and try to win games because that is important too – to win games – and that is our objective today.”
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- Feature interview with Jan Vertonghen, ever-present in the Premier League and Champions League this term
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- Mauricio Pochettino's exclusive column
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- A chat with ex-West Ham man Alvin Martin
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