TURIN, Italy -- Christian Eriksen has hailed Tottenham Hotspur's progress and resolve under Mauricio Pochettino, saying the team he joined five years ago would have lost by six goals after their nightmare start against Juventus on Tuesday.
Eriksen scored a second-half equaliser as Spurs recovered from 2-0 down inside eight minutes to draw 2-2 with Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.
"Tottenham has become, compared to what it was when I came to what it is now, completely different," Eriksen said. "That's up to the manager, up to the players and the quality we have in the squad really.
"When I arrived here, the games against the top teams when you are 2-0 down after nine minutes, you'd lose 6-0. That's the thing we've changed with this manager [and] with the players we have. Everyone has grown up and they are not going to lie down if they are 2-0 down."
Eriksen joined the club in 2013 and they allowed four goals or more in five matches against Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in his first season under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.
Spurs have improved since Pochettino's appointment as manager in May 2014 but questions remain about their nerve and quality at the highest level.
But the draw in Italy followed home wins over Manchester United and Arsenal and a draw at Liverpool, and Eriksen said the current Spurs team is made of far stronger stuff.
"We showed in the last few games and in the season overall that we build on everything," Eriksen said. "And coming to a stadium like Juve's, I don't know if it impressed us for the first nine minutes or it shocked us, but again we showed character to come back and we're not going to lie down against anyone that we play.
"You could say it was a very bad start. Being 2-0 down after nine minutes, there's only one way and that's trying to come back. The thought that kept in everybody's head was we have to turn it around, there's no other option now, we're 2-0 down and there's only one way and that's to create something, try to come back and we have the character and the quality to do that."
Tottenham have not won a competition since defeating Chelsea in the English league cup final in 2008 and the Danish playmaker believes they are close to doing so again.
"Most clubs are just used to winning trophies," Eriksen said. "Tottenham are not used to it, but of course, Tottenham are going to give everything we can to get as close as possible to get our hands on a trophy. To get there is the first step. Luckily we have a good result and the next step is to go through."
Before the match, Pochettino promised Spurs would not sacrifice style or adventure against Juventus, who have reached the Champions League final in two of the last three seasons.
True to his word, the visitors played on the front foot from eight minutes onwards, finishing the match with nearly 70 percent of possession.
"We don't care where we are or what time it is or which stadium we play in or which we team we play -- we always try to dominate, to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and create something," Eriksen said. "They did start very offensive but after it was 2-0 they dropped a bit which gave us a bit more of the ball so we tried to create something afterwards. It helped us actually but not in a good way.
"It shows a lot of character. All the types we have in our team are players who like to go forward, try to create something. Either way we, winning or losing, we are going to try to pay the same way."
Juventus had not conceded a goal in 2018 ahead of Spurs' visit and Dele Alli, who assisted Harry Kane's opener, echoed his teammate's sentiments.
"We've got a great dressing room," Alli said. "The boys believe in themselves and each other and in the team. The way we play, we have a lot of belief in the system. We were going into the game in a lot of confidence.
"We knew about their record going into the game, that they hadn't conceded many goals, so going 2-0 down early, sometimes you can hide for the rest of the game and sit back. But we took the game to them, we dominated after the first 10 minutes and I think it shows a lot of character to come to this place and score two goals."