Tottenham midfielder Paulinho keen to fight for first-team place
Tottenham midfielder Paulinho insists he is determined to prove his worth at White Hart Lane.
The Brazilian arrived at Spurs in the summer from Corinthians in a deal worth around Â£17million, and he was a regular starter under Andre Villas-Boas.
However, since Tim Sherwood took charge, Paulinho has been anything but a regular first-teamer.
Paulinho is not too happy with the rotation system, but he insists he is more than willing to fight for his place.
"You are told before coming to Europe that big teams here quite often rotate players," he told The Guardian.
"I respect this culture but it is instinctive for me to get annoyed if I don’t play every game. I always want to be on the pitch, much as I know it is my first season here and how difficult it is for a South American player to adapt to the demands of the Premier League."
Paulinho insists that he respects any decision taken by Sherwood, who was critical of the Brazilian this week by insisting he would not be picked purely on his reputation.
"Sherwood is in charge and every manager has a style. It’s his call if he wants to publicly criticize the players," he said.
"It’s up to each one of us to have a clean conscience about what they are doing for the team.
"I am very comfortable in saying that I have been working hard and trying to do what the club signed me for.
"The manager and the fans have the right to be upset at the team.
"A team like ours should not have been routed in those games. But the players know it.
"It’s just important we stand together at the bad times too.
"I can assure you nobody at the club will be happy if we fail to qualify for the Champions League. One of the reasons I came to this club was to help them play at the top level."
Paulinho was signed by Sherwood’s predecessor Villas-Boas, and he admits he was sad to see the Portuguese tactician depart.
"It was hard to see Andre go. He was the guy who asked the club to sign me, so you have to be disappointed when that happens," he says.
"Having said that, this is not a new situation in my life. It happened to me in Brazil at Corinthians, when the manager who had got me in the first team [Mano Menezes] left in 2010. The manager changes and you just have to make sure you show the [new] guy you mean business."