Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says his side’s ability to block out difficult external factors have made his side title contenders this season.
Spurs continued their brilliant festive period with a 5-0 romp over Bournemouth, which made it 11 goals in two games and took them above Manchester City and into the top two, six points off Liverpool.
They came into the game on the back of the 6-2 mauling of Everton on Sunday and again brought their shooting boots as Christian Eriksen, Son-Heung Min (two), Lucas Moura and Harry Kane found the net at Wembley.
It is an impressive achievement for Spurs, who have posted their best 19-game return in the Premier League era, considering what they have had to contend with this season.
No summer signings, delays to the new stadium, a congested fixture list, injury problems and most recently Pochettino being linked with the permanent job at Manchester United.
The Argentinian says his players have created a bubble and it has allowed them to flourish.
“One thing that we have is the belief in the squad, all of them young or senior players,” he said.
“We always believe that we can improve and always believe that we can learn.
“In six months we never complain about anything. We no complain about no signings, we no complain about the stadium, we no complain about the fixtures, we no complain about come to play at Wembley when the plan was to play in the new stadium and the pitch because Wembley was booked for the season – many, many things.
“But one thing we have kept is the belief and been positive, we created a bubble and now that is paying (off) and we are I think in that position because we work a lot.
“Still we are halfway of the season, but to break records like the best first half in the Premier League and many things that can make us very proud.”
Tottenham’s ascent up to second has coincided with Manchester City losing three out of four games and completes a seven-point swing over City, who were five points clear of Spurs after beating them 1-0 at the end of October.
Pochettino added: “I wasn’t negative in that moment (when we were fifth) eight weeks ago and now I am trying to keep the balance with my emotion.
“We are happy because we are in a good position, but to be honest it doesn’t mean too much to us to be second or third, or first, I think the most important thing is where you finish in May.
“When you are there you start to show your face, everyone wants to kill you and of course it is tougher when you are higher. But of course, we need to keep in the same way; humble, working hard and knowing that each game is going to be tougher than the one before.”