Moussa Sissoko searches for the phrase in English that sums up where Tottenham Hotspur are in the Premier League title race.
“We are not far,” he says. “If people want to talk about Liverpool and Man City then it’s better for us. We can follow our way in… how can I say it in English?”
Under the radar? “Ah, yeah,” Sissoko says. “We will be like that. Under the radar, I like that – and try to win and see where we are. For me, I prefer that. It means we can just do our job. We will fight to the end and anything can happen.
“And, yes, I think we can win the league because we have a good team. There are 13 games to the end so there are a lot of points left. But each game will be massive and hopefully we can win every one of them.”
Sissoko is right when he says there is a long way to go, and yet such is the ferocity of the competition, this already has the feel of a title run-in. And Spurs, five points behind City and Liverpool, are in the thick of it. They face Leicester City at home on Sunday with Sissoko suggesting their recent late wins over Watford and Newcastle indicate “that we have a good mentality, that we will not give up”.
Sissoko embodies that indomitable mentality, having undergone his own extraordinary personal renaissance at Spurs this season. He endured two very difficult seasons following his £30million transfer deadline day move from Newcastle in August 2016, regularly finding himself the supporters’ scapegoat when things went awry for the team.
That feels a long time ago now. He is now an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s first-choice XI, and the club have chosen him to model the official team suits from BOSS, their formalwear supplier, at their training ground – a meaningful gesture in itself. Sissoko wants to explain how he made it back, how positive his story is and how it is a triumph of persistence.