Harry Winks’ spirit has been “killed’ by his plummet down the Tottenham pecking order, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the whole Spurs squad were struggling with their self-belief under Jose Mourinho and admitted those not playing would find it tough to bounce back.
Winks, 25, had been a regular for Spurs in recent seasons and played 41 times across all competitions last term, with 26 league starts under his belt.
However, he has started just six times in the top-flight this campaign and has only featured in 20 games across all competitions for the north Londoners.
Whelan believes there is a major confidence issue among the first-team dressing room at Tottenham and suggested Winks had been hit harder than most by the Lilywhites’ lack of form.
Asked what he thought was behind Winks’ fall from grace at Spurs, Whelan told Football Insider: “I think lack of games doesn’t help, I think when you’re not playing regularly, you’re fighting performances, you’re fighting to find that belief, and that confidence in your game.
“It’s very difficult to find it in 20 minutes, coming on here and there and especially when Tottenham are not going through the best of times, that confidence dwindles throughout the whole squad, not just one player, but it doesn’t help when you’re not playing regularly.
“I think there’s a number of players there that are feeling the effects of bad performances and results and seeing that Premier League kind of push slip away, when they were talking about them becoming contenders, they’re going to be right there till the end – well, they’re not.
“That’s come pretty quickly as a wake-up call to the Tottenham side, hasn’t it?
“After all the plaudits, this is what happens, this is football – if you can’t keep up with the Joneses in terms of quality, results and performances then very quickly this big Tottenham side, that was supposed to be all this, very quickly have seen that they’re not.
“I think it drains a lot of players and does kill your spirit, I think that’s what’s happening at the minute with Winks.”