Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko says a ‘focused and strong’ mind is behind his revival
Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko says a “focused and strong” mind is behind his revival this season after a slow start to life in north London.
The France international has been criticised by boss Maurico Pochettino and Spurs fans and since his £30m arrival from Newcastle in August 2016.
But his role in Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Inter Milan – keeping Spurs’ Champions League hopes alive – was the high point in an ever-improving season.
“I am doing well this season,” he said.
“But I think this is because of my work at training.
“I know since I came here everything wasn’t easy for me, but I never give up and I was always focused and strong in my mind and said I need to keep working.”
The 29-year-old only made eight Premier League starts for Tottenham in his first season at the club, with Pochettino saying the midfielder was falling short of expectations.
He featured more regularly last term, but only this season has Sissoko started to convince Tottenham fans of his ability and it was his powerful run that created Christian Eriksen’s winner against Inter.
“You want to do more, to have more success, but even when you do everything sometimes it is difficult and you can not get what you want,” Sissoko told BBC Radio 5 live.
“But you have to stay strong in your mind and keep believing, and one day you might have your chance – this is what happened for me.
“I had the chance to never give up and believe and everyone was behind me, supporting me – that is why I am here right now.
“When you give up you can fall down and never come back, this wasn’t me. I still believe and I was strong in my mind.”
Tottenham travel to Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday (kick-off 14:05 GMT) with Sissoko’s form meaning he could be in line for a seventh successive Premier League start.
The Frenchman says he has always backed manager Pochettino and wants to keep on getting “better and better”.
“I am very happy with him, maybe in the past some people say a few things, but even when I wasn’t playing a lot I always said he was a great manager,” he said.
“We need to accept his choice, he’s the boss on the pitch and everything he says we have to accept and do it.
“Now I am playing and he says some good things about me, so I am very happy.”