LONDON -- Moussa Sissoko says he finally feels comfortable at Tottenham after initially struggling to cope with Mauricio Pochettino's intense training schedule.
Pochettino criticised Sissoko after leaving him out of the squad for the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Dec. 2, saying the £30 million deadline day signing from Newcastle needed to work harder and show he "deserves" to be in the team.
Sissoko responded with an explosive 30-minute cameo at Manchester United and a fine performance in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Hull City, and he explained that he finally feels comfortable with his manager's demands.
"The intensity of the training -- that was a big change for me because in my old team it was totally different," Sissoko told reporters after the match.
"I needed to understand his philosophy but now it is OK. I know what he wants, I know what to do and that's what I will do.
"The style of how he wants us to play, what we do at the training -- it was a lot of change. Every manager has his style of training so now I understand everything."
Pochettino later backtracked and said the 27-year-old needed time to "adapt" to Tottenham after he missed most of preseason waiting for a move away from St. James' Park.
Sissoko suffered a suspected concussion on his third appearance for Spurs, before he was suspended for three matches for elbowing Bournemouth's Harry Arter and he said he was unaffected by Pochettino's comments, but agreed that his start to life in London was not ideal.
"For me the manager said what he thinks. For me it was the same, just to come into training and try to give my best. I know what I can do for the team. I know what is my level," he said.
"I just needed some time to be ready on everything because it was a big change for me. Now I understand everything and everything is better for me, and that's good."
"It was at the last training before we played Chelsea on Saturday, [he told me I wasn't in the team], so that was his choice. The manager has to make his 18.
"It's his choice. For me I just need to keep working at training and hopefully be in the squad for every game.
"To come here it was not easy because a lot of things happened. I signed late, I didn't have any preparation, a new system, a new job, so a lot of change. I needed to work a lot on that.
"So I spoke with the manager and all the staff, and we tried to work on it at training. Now it is good for me because I played and I did well I think, so that's good and I hope I can do more for the future."
Pochettino used Sissoko on the right wing in his first five starts but against Hull he was given a free role behind Harry Kane in a changed 3-4-2-1 system -- and he flourished.
"We played a different system so I was more inside. That is what I like," Sissoko said. "But I can also play as a winger. Today the manager decided to change the system, so it was good for me, for the team. We won the game and that was perfect."