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Friday 30 September 2016

Mauricio Pochettino: Finishing above Arsenal not important for Spurs this season

Published 07/05/2016 | 11:56

Mauricio Pochettino, left, is not focused on finishing above Arsene Wenger's Arsenal
Mauricio Pochettino, left, is not focused on finishing above Arsene Wenger's Arsenal

Mauricio Pochettino insists finishing above Arsenal is not important to Tottenham this season.

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Spurs have ended every campaign below their bitter rivals since 1995 but are within touching distance of breaking that streak with two games left to play.

Pochettino's men sit three points clear of the Gunners in second and are also 14 ahead on goal difference, meaning one win will almost certainly be enough.

Tottenham will be hoping to seal that victory when they host Southampton on Sunday but Pochettino maintains Arsenal are not on their agenda.

"No, I don't think about that," the Argentinian said.

"We have our own challenge but it is not our principle challenge to be above Arsenal.

"We want to play well and win trophies but this is not important for us."

Spurs must also bounce back from bowing out of the title race, after Monday's draw at Chelsea ensured Leicester would be crowned Barclays Premier League champions this weekend.

Champions League qualification, however, means Tottenham's season has still been a resounding success and Pochettino says his players will not be downbeat following the end of their title challenge.

"I think we have the same motivation to play the next game. We want to keep second place in the table," Pochettino said.

"Nothing changes for us. To finish in the top four is fantastic, this is our challenge and our goal from the start of the season.

"Last season I said our objective was to reduce the gap with the top four. We are in the top four.

"Maybe we feel disappointed because we had the opportunity to win the Premier League but we need to feel proud and next season we need to fight for the same goals."

Mousa Dembele will not play at White Hart Lane as he begins a six-game ban for violent conduct and Dele Alli is also out, serving the second of a three-match suspension.

Press Association

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