Harry Winks has suggested he is not being given a fair crack at a first-team place for Tottenham and admitted he is finding his lack of minutes “tough”.
Almost a year since he said he was having a “difficult” time at Spurs under Jose Mourinho, Winks has again said he wants to be playing more football and he may seek talks with boss Nuno Espirito Santo if he does not.
Winks has been of interest to clubs in Spain in the last year, including Atletico Madrid and Valencia, but he has not been able to secure a loan move away from N17 – and he had hoped to stake a claim under Nuno.
But, instead, the England international has made only two Premier League appearances so far this term and was part of the UEFA Conference League side that lost to Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday night.
After Nuno left behind his usual first XI players, leaving no one to come from the bench and save Spurs’ second string from a 1-0 defeat, Winks said: “It is tough. We’re meant to be a team. It’s meant to be competition.
“It’s meant to be competitive. Everybody should be fighting for weekend games and it’s difficult. Motivation should be everybody fighting for the same cause and the same thing.
“But when we go out on that pitch and we’re not playing in the first team, we’ve got to put that right, make a point and show the manager we should be playing in the team. When we lose in the way that we did, we don’t do that.
“But, listen, the circumstances are that I’m in this situation. Everybody’s in this situation. We want to win for Tottenham, to win games and pull in the same direction. But when you’re not playing regularly, it’s difficult to get that confidence as a team.
“But it’s important everybody knows we are fighting to play for Tottenham. The motivation is to get into the team and perform regularly but – like I keep saying – if we don’t perform when we get chances, it’s down to us.”
Winks, who came through Tottenham’s academy and thrived under former manager Mauricio Pochettino, still has more than two years to run on his contract and insists he still wants to play for the club.
“Listen, I love Tottenham, I’ve always made that clear, but I want to play regular football,” he said. “The only way to play your best football and get momentum is when you’re playing regularly.
“I’m giving my all for the club, of course I am. They’ve stuck by me, I’ve stuck by them, and I want to play for Tottenham. But it is difficult when you’re only getting matches here and there. Confidence is low and you don’t get that run of games.
“I’m not thinking that far ahead. I’ve got a lot of games left to go to try and fight for the club. It’s important we all stay in the same mindset, the same thought process and we see.
“There’s a long way to go, still two months to go [until January] and it’s about knuckling down, working as hard as I can and having no regrets.
“When the time is right I’ll have a conversation but right now it’s important that the team and manager focus on the next game and don’t get any distractions from me.”