February 15, 2018 / 9:50 AM / 10 days ago

Soccer: 'Grown up' Tottenham have learned to fight back, says Eriksen

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has instilled a fighting spirit within the side that helps them overcome deficits rather than capitulate, playmaker Christian Eriksen has said.

Tottenham went 2-0 down against Juventus in the opening nine minutes of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday but rallied to earn a 2-2 draw and put themselves in a strong position ahead of the return leg at Wembley.

Eriksen, 26, believes that the comeback was evidence of Tottenham’s development under the Argentine boss.

“The club is completely different – from what it was when I came to what it is now,” Eriksen told British media.

”That’s up to the manager and up to the players, with the quality we have in the squad.

”We are building on every season compared to when I arrived here... The games against the top teams, when we were 2-0 down after nine minutes, we’d lose 6-0. That’s the thing we’ve changed with the manager coming in and with the players we have.

“Everyone has grown up and they are not going to lie down if they are 2-0 down. We don’t care where we are or what time it is or which stadium we play in or which we team we play, we always try to dominate...”

Spurs’ progress over recent years and their Champions League showing this season have put the spotlight on Pochettino, who has garnered interest from rivals clubs.

Eriksen is, however, confident that the manager will stay with the north London outfit.

”The players are happy with him, the club is very happy with him,“ the Denmark international added. ”I think that’s what he showed when he signed his new long-term deal (in May 2016).

“Of course, there will be interest from other clubs because he’s doing really well but hopefully he’ll stay.”

Tottenham travel to Rochdale in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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