Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham’s performance at Chelsea on Monday night proved his team is no longer a soft touch.
Spurs had nine players booked at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, while Mousa Dembele has accepted a violent conduct charge which could see him handed a lengthy ban.
Pochettino admitted his players “crossed the line” in west London, but he preferred to focus on the positives at his Friday press conference.
“I hear in the last two years always people say ‘Tottenham was soft’,” Pochettino said.
“But now we start to show character. Maybe we crossed the line, I can recognise this, I am not stupid. It is important to manage better our energy for the next season and ensure we learn a lot about this game.
“But this season we have shown we are not a nice team to play, not anymore. I think our opponents don’t like to play against us because we show passion.
“Maybe we show too much passion but we need to take this in a positive way.”
Pochettino was himself drawn into the fracas as he twice acted as peacemaker when two brawls erupted in the first half and at the full-time whistle.
The Argentine confirmed he spoke to Chelsea captain John Terry after the match.
“We had a discussion on the pitch during the game,” Pochettino said.
“After he came and apologised and nothing happened. He is a big champion, the captain of Chelsea, great player and when you fight for the Premier League you want to win.
“We shook hands and we were very calm after the game.”
Pochettino revealed he had been in touch with Daniel Levy too and the Tottenham chairman had told his head coach he was “proud” of the team’s performance.
Discussions are also ongoing regarding Pochettino’s new five-year contract.
The 44-year-old has struck a verbal agreement over a two-year extension until 2021 and the deal was expected to be confirmed this week.
“It is not signed yet because it was a very busy week,” Pochettino said. “But we have a verbal agreement.”