Mauricio Pochettino has insisted that Tottenham have "improved" as a team despite being some way off the pace to contest for the Premier League title.
The Spurs boss was quoted by the Daily Mail as he explained why he considered his first-team squad to be stronger than at the same stage last season when his players were tussling for the English top flight trophy.
Tottenham have won just one league match since they thrashed Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley, with defeats suffered to Manchester United and Arsenal added to with last weekend's 1-1 draw with managerless West Brom.
Pochettino, however, stated his belief that his side had grown this term in comparison to previous seasons and claimed his stars were competing at their optimum level.
He said: "The team has improved – maybe not enough to win the Premier League but we are competing and feel proud because the team is building a fantastic structure, and we need time."
Spurs have the same points tally heading into December as they had at the same time last term - 24 points from 13 matches - but currently trail league leaders Manchester City by a whopping 13 points.
In seperate comments published by Sky Sports, Pochettino went on to state that the points difference between the two sides was "great" but refused to throw in the towel as Spurs look to end their long wait for a league title.
He added: "We need to believe and try to win games. If we don't win [against Leicester] - it is difficult to be a contender.
"It is true that there is a great gap between Manchester City and the rest of the contenders. Manchester City have improved a lot from last season. The gap is massive but we will see what happens."
Tottenham face Leicester City at the King Power stadium on Wednesday before travelling to Hertfordshire to face high-flying Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.