Moussa Sissoko has admitted to feeling 'hurt' by Mauricio Pochettino's selection during his early days at Tottenham Hotspur.
The midfielder, signed from Newcastle United in 2016, endured a difficult opening two campaigns during which supporters castigated his performances and often made deprecating jokes about him.
Last season, however, saw Sissoko become a fundamental part of Pochettino's setup, playing an especially important role in the club's route to the Champions League final.
Reflecting on his earlier days at Spurs, Sissoko told talkSPORT: "Not being at the 2018 World Cup was of course a disappointment, but not an end in itself.
"I was aware of having a complicated year with my Tottenham club. The coach's choices hurt me, but it's the law of football.
"The only thing to do was to redouble efforts. To abandon everything would have been a descent into hell."
The 30-year-old made 10 appearances in total during Spurs' run to Madrid, where they were ultimately beaten 2-0 by Liverpool.
Sissoko, who has played every minute of Spurs' opening four games so far, faces extra competition in midfield this season from the talented Tanguy Ndombele, signed from Lyon for £65m in the transfer window. body check tags ::