Tottenham’s makeshift home in Wembley is partly to blame for the club’s poor form, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs face Stoke at their temporary home on Saturday before hosting Brighton next week and they can ill afford to lose further ground in the race for the top four.
They have been very vulnerable at Wembley this season – taking only 12 points from a possible 21 there in the Premier League, a record that has included draws with Burnley, Swansea and West Brom.
“To play again in your home always is much better than to play how we are playing now,” Pochettino said. “It is so important how the opponent sees Wembley – that it is fantastic to play at Wembley.
“It is not to blame Wembley or an excuse.
“But when opponents come to Wembley to play it is an historic day. For many clubs it is difficult to play at Wembley but today it is easy because you come in the Premier League.
“That is a massive motivation for the opponent. That is an extra charge for us because not only are you competing with the opponent but with their massive motivation too.”
Pochettino hopes victory over Champions League opponents APOEL has snapped their form slump.
“For us it’s happened now,” Pochettino said. “I hope Apoel has changed the dynamic but for every club you have periods where you struggle.
“To keep the same level for 10 months is so difficult for a group of players. We have a strong squad with enough quality. We trust in ourselves. It is possible we have changed the dynamic and I hope after Apoel we can start to win games.”