London: Tottenham Hotspur will need to be more aggressive and play with heart and hunger against north London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Without a Premier League win since beating QPR 4-0 on Aug. 24, Spurs have lost their last two home league games and slipped to ninth while Arsenal are fourth and, like leaders Chelsea, remain unbeaten in five league matches.
But Pochettino believes his team can claim a first derby triumph at Arsenal in four attempts if they take confidence from Wednesday`s 3-1 League Cup win over second tier Nottingham Forest, their first victory in five outings in all competitions.
"We are ambitious. We arrived three months ago and we need to make our way, but we are focused on the game -- and we know the history," he told a news conference on Thursday.
"But it is also important to write the history -- starting now. This is a big game, a tough game and a very important game for our supporters," the 42-year-old Argentine added.
"We need to be aggressive and show what we can do. I have played a lot of derbies when I was a player and now I’m excited to be against Arsenal.
"We need to be focused on our job and never give up and always try to win. This is the winning mentality we need to have."
Referring to the victory over Forest, he added: "A win is always important.
"It was in a different competition, but was still important for our confidence. We are focusing now on Saturday -- and we are preparing in the best conditions possible.
"It`s a derby. So you need to show all that you have inside..."
As Pochettino called for passion, Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen applauded the manager`s demanding approach to his job.
"It is good," he told reporters. "He is working well with a lot of videos and, individually, he talks a lot with the players.
"He is a manager who expects a lot from players. We work hard and that is good. It will pay off in the end."