London Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is confident his players are still on his side despite a poor run of form that culminated in their 7-2 humbling by Bayern Munich in midweek.
Spurs, who travel to Brighton on Saturday, have now won just three of their opening 10 games and have lost 13 of their past 28 matches stretching back to February.
Tuesday’s punishing loss against the five-time European champions was the biggest-ever margin of defeat for an English team at home in European competition.
The uncertainty over the future of many of Tottenham’s players has added to a sense of drift at the club but an upbeat Pochettino said his players were still committed to playing for him.
That list of those whose contracts run out next year includes midfielder Christian Eriksen, and defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
“Yes, I really believe. I have no doubt that the players always want to do their best to try to win. First of all they play for themselves, for their families and then for the club and for the coaching staff,” Pochettino told reporters on Friday.
“But I don’t have doubts about their commitment with four, five or one year left in their contracts, that is no doubt.”
The Argentine brushed off the suggestion that he had taken the club as far as he could, saying it was a “moment to stay together”.
“In five-and-a-half years, in every single press conference we’re talking about my future,” he said. “I hope that we’re still talking it means we’re going to spend five more years at least.”
Pochettino, in his sixth season at the club, pointed out that the Bayern disaster came just three days after last season’s Champions League finalists had battled to beat Southampton with 10 men.
“I cannot justify the result. Of course you cannot stop the comments and everything but in three days there was a complete change in perception,” he said.
“The most important thing that is clear is that we are all together and we are going to find a way to win again.”
The Spurs boss also defended out-of-form England international Dele Alli, who has been left out of Gareth’s Southgate’s latest squad.
“There’s nothing wrong,” he said. “You need to understand that football is about form, football is about sometimes not so good periods and Dele only needs time to recover.”
“Of course now he’s in a tough period but we need him because he’s a very important player for us.”