Tottenham head coach Nuno Espirito Santo insists he was told the club’s philosophy when he took charge in the summer and is determined to win over supporters.
They were top of the league after winning their opening three matches 1-0 but rank 20th out of 20 for shots and chances created this season, and have also covered less distance than any other side.
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) recently requested a meeting with the club’s board to discuss its “short and long-term strategic vision”, but Nuno remains confident performances will improve.
“I’ve been told [the philosophy] and everybody knows,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s football, everybody wants to play good. Everybody wants to play offensively, everybody wants to score. This is what we chase.
“Sometimes it’s not possible but we are aware that this is what we want to do but it takes a building process to achieve it and we are trying.
“The criticism is normal. Everybody knows how this industry works. When you don’t play good, when you don’t perform and results don’t go your way, criticism is something you have to deal with. We understand it and it’s up to us to react and change it.”
Despite concern from supporters, Nuno insists there is no reason to panic.
“I’m not worried about the judgement. What I’m worried about is how we can play better,” he said.
“The judgement, the criticism and the opinion is all part of the game and we have to deal with that. That doesn’t interfere with the way we work. It can only distract us. My focus is on how we can improve.
“In terms of the fans, now is not the moment to ask them. Of course, we need them, we need their support because the players and the team need the support of the fans, but it’s not a moment to ask them.
“It’s a moment to deliver. We have to give them a team that is solid and playing good and then things will go back to normal.”
Nuno was also asked about Tottenham forward Harry Kane’s disappointing form. The 28-year-old has not scored in five Premier League appearances this season after a move to Manchester City failed to materialise in the summer.
“What happened is in the past. What I’m worried about is with the team,” Nuno said.
“We want the best of all our players. We want the best of Harry, we want the best of all of them and only with the best of all of us we can go through this situation.”
Following Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat by north London rivals Arsenal last weekend, Paul Merson explains why he is so concerned for the club’s new manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
“Spurs were playing like that (counterattacking) last season, but no one was in the crowd, so they could get away with it,” Merson said.
“I’ve always liked Nuno and thought he would get a top job, but there are ways of getting beat at football and those players were not running through a brick wall for him on Sunday. And that is where the worry starts…
“This (the north London derby) is the fans’ game, the be all and end all and it does not matter how good a manager you are, you can be the best manager in the world, but it is all about the players – do not let anyone tell you it is all about the manager.
“If the players want someone out, they are out – one more game like that and Nuno is gone, Spurs will not mess about, they can’t have that.”
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:
“Nuno Espirito Santo was the Premier League manager of the month for August after taking Tottenham to the top of the table but September has been miserable. If the competition had started once the transfer window closed, Spurs would be bottom.
“His team have now conceded three goals in three consecutive London derbies but there has been nothing worse than this. Overrun by an Arsenal side with conspicuously more endeavour and enterprise, Spurs looked so passive at the Emirates Stadium.
“It is the sort of performance that supporters will never accept.
“A look at the Premier League table lends some perspective. Six games in and they have an identical record to Arsenal. But the contrast between the teams was marked on Sunday. The youthful exuberance of the Gunners. The turgid efforts of Tottenham.
“The problem for Nuno is that he arrived as a man needing to address concerns. There were fears over his style of play – and remember that is part of his remit as stated by chairman Daniel Levy. Those fears are only going to increase given the nature of this defeat.”