By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes

Tom Huddlestone has given a revealing insight into why Tottenham have thrived under Mauricio Pochettino this season.

The former Spurs midfielder, 29, remains in close contact with some members of the squad following his eight-year spell at White Hart Lane, which ended when he joined Hull in 2013.

Pochettino was criticised by some pundits and supporters for fielding a weakened team on Thursday night as Tottenham lost 3-0 to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

But Spurs are second in the Premier League ahead of this weekend and will narrow the gap with leaders Leicester to two points if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday.

Asked for his opinion of Pochettino, Huddlestone told a media conference on Friday: “He did well at Southampton and he’s carried on at Tottenham. I’ve spoken to a few of the players and they enjoy training under him, they’ve told me they’re doing double sessions throughout the season, which is unheard of in this country.

“They’ve done well this season. They had a poor performance and result last night but they deserve to be where they are in the league.”

In other Tottenham news, ex Spurs midfielder Jermain Jenas has claimed Pochettino got it right by prioritising the Premier League over the Europa League.