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Tottenham are feeling weight of expectation, says Pochettino

By Tom Allnutt

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham are struggling to cope with increased levels of expectation this season.

Spurs have won only two of their last eight Premier League matches and sit 10 points adrift of frontrunners Chelsea.

Pochettino's men have the chance to close the gap before Christmas, however, with two plum home games to come against Hull tonight and Burnley on Sunday.

Tottenham showed glimpses of a return to form last week in a 5-0 thrashing of Swansea and then a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Pochettino admits his side are still yet to find the rhythm of last season's surprise title challenge but argues they remain in a similar position.

"One possibility is that the expectation is higher," Pochettino said. "There are different aspects and maybe we didn't cope with the expectation. Today, after 15 games, we have 27 points - last season I think it was 26.

"In that moment we had qualified for the next round of the Europa League and like now we are in the Europa League.

"We are nearly in the same position and last season it was 'wow, Tottenham'. Today the expectation is higher and for that we feel a bit disappointed."

Pochettino will be without Mousa Dembele against Hull as the Belgian has suffered a recurrence of a niggling foot injury.

"He will be out for tomorrow, we will see for Sunday," Pochettino said. "He got a kick on his foot. It's very painful now."

Erik Lamela is back in training but Vincent Janssen, however, remains sidelined.

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