Christian Eriksen says he is going through his “hardest time” at Tottenham – but refused to blame speculation surrounding his future.
Eriksen was tipped to leave Spurs this summer with Manchester United and Real Madrid amongst those linked.
But the Danish playmaker stayed in north London, with his long-term future still uncertain as his contract expires next summer.
Eriksen is not the only member of Mauricio Pochettino’s side with clouds hanging over him with Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose amongst those with contracts also running down.
Last year’s losing Champions League finalists are under the spotlight after being thrashed 7-2 by Bayern Munich last week then beaten 3-0 at Brighton.
Yet Eriksen reckons increased expectations are a key factor rather than transfer rumours.
“It’s definitely my hardest time right now in Tottenham,” he told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
“The first year when I came was probably a bit up and down, but since Pochettino came in 2014 it has been a success story.
“Expectations for us are at a completely different level now. We have to win every time and it’s the same feeling we have as players as well.
“A lot of focus quickly becomes negative. As players, we must try to keep all the negative things completely out. But what is the cause of our results is actually difficult to answer.
“We can’t close the matches, even though we are ahead. But we have also been unlucky. And that is why in many ways we have helped make things much harder for ourselves.”
Asked about the impact of transfer speculation, he added: “It doesn’t matter at all.
“Everyone is professional and in all clubs there is talk of players going away. That side of the matter has no bearing on how we have performed so far this season.
“If I, as a football player, took all the rumors to me, I would float on a cloud. But I know that it can’t all be true.
“It does not affect me what is written. But I do know that the bigger the name becomes international, the more there is written.”