Nuno Espirito Santo insists he is aware of ‘the Tottenham way’ as pressure builds to improve playing style

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 (IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
(IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Nuno Espirito Santo says he is aware of the type of football his Tottenham side are expected to play and insists his players have total belief in his approach.

Nuno is facing scrutiny after three straight defeats to London rivals, culminating in Sunday's dismal 3-1 loss at Arsenal – for which he took responsibility.

The Portuguese arrived at Spurs in the summer with a reputation for counter-punching and appeared a poor fit for Daniel Levy's desire for a manager who would promote "free-flowing, attacking and entertaining football", which the chairman considers part of the club's "DNA".

Despite winning their first three League matches, Spurs rank near the bottom of the table for most attacking statistics and Nuno is under pressure to improve the style as well as results.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Europa Conference League group game against Slovenia side Mura, Nuno was asked if he was aware of what ‘the Tottenham way’ entailed.

"I have been told. And everybody knows," he said. "It’s football. Everybody wants to play good, everybody wants to play offensive, everybody wants to score. This is what we chase. Sometimes it’s not possible but we’re aware that this is what we want to do. But it takes a building process to achieve it. And we’re trying.

"All games have a different plan. All the opponents are different. I was honest on Sunday [in taking responsibility for the defeat] so what I’m doing now is to avoid being honest and make my decisions right!

"[The players] totally believe. There’s no doubts about that. We need to stick together. And the belief is the first step to do things and we have it. You have to realise sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes opponents is better than you and you have to be humble to give credit and sometimes you don’t perform. Sometimes the plan is no good. The belief in all of us is here."

Nuno, who will again be without Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon for Mura's visit, said he understood the criticism of himself and his players this month and called for a reaction on Thursday and in Sunday's visit of Aston Villa.

"The criticism is normal," he said. "I’ve been in football, everybody knows how this industry works. When you don’t play good, and you don't perform, and the results don't go along, criticism is something that you have to deal with. So we understand it, it's up to us to react and to change it.

"We need to change it today and tomorrow and the day after. Because this is the moment when we have to react. As you can imagine, it’s not a good feeling this way, like we are feeling now, like our fans are feeling now, it’s not good. But the difference between us and our fans is that we can change it. We can change it. It's up to us to change it."

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