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Friday 28 October 2016

Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs have to ignore Premier League table

Published 03/02/2016 | 13:11

Mauricio Pochettino has urged his Tottenham squad not to get distracted by the table
Mauricio Pochettino has urged his Tottenham squad not to get distracted by the table

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham must not be distracted by the Barclays Premier League table as they pursue their first title in more than half a century.

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Spurs last won the league in 1961, but the north London club remain just five points adrift of surprise leaders Leicester following a convincing 3-0 victory at Norwich on Tuesday night.

Dele Alli opened the scoring in the second minute at Carrow Road before Harry Kane doubled Tottenham's advantage from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark. Kane then scored his second of the night in injury time to complete a fine victory for Pochettino's men.

It marked Tottenham's fifth victory in as many matches across league and cup, and saw them leapfrog rivals Arsenal into third place after the Gunners played out a goalless draw against Southampton.

"The gap with Leicester is five points and a lot can happen in football but our next game is against Watford and we need to keep this mentality," Pochettino said.

"We cannot be distracted by the table. It is important for the supporters, but for us it is important to arrive in the last few games with the possibility to fight for big things.

"But for now we have a way ahead of us - and a lot of games - and we need to be focused every day, improve in every training session, and try to win every game."

Kane took his tally for the season to 15 goals after scoring from the spot and converting when one-on-one with Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd late in the game.

While the England international remains fit and scoring, Pochettino's decision not to buy a striker during the transfer window will be vindicated.

"I am very happy with the squad we have," Pochettino added. "We have enough quality to fight in different competitions.

"We are in a process when it is difficult to add the right player that can improve our squad. If we can find this player then why not? We are open and welcome. But I believe in my squad and the players show we can trust them so my feeling is good."

While Spurs are flying near the summit of the league, Norwich remain only two points above the relegation zone after their fourth straight defeat.

"We've conceded 17 goals in five games so we need to defend better but when you concede a goal after a minute and a half that doesn't help your cause," said frustrated Norwich manager Alex Neil. "It puts you on the back foot automatically and that led in to the fact that we didn't perform well in the first half.

"In the second half we performed a bit better but I always think it is a bit easier when you are losing a game to come back in and have a go because you have got nothing to lose."

Neil, whose Norwich side travel to bottom-of-the-league Aston Villa on Saturday, added: "It has been a big job since the start, and this little run of four games that we have lost has been extremely disappointing.

"If we, as a squad, don't quickly realise that we need to get our finger out and start winning games then it is going to be tough."

Spurs announced later on Wednesday that 18-year-old midfielder Josh Onomah has been rewarded for his rise through the ranks with a new contract running until 2020.

The Enfield-born England youth and under-19 international has been a regular in Spurs' first-team squad this season, making 14 appearances in all competitions to date.

A statement on the official Tottenham website read: "We are delighted to announce that Josh Onomah has signed a new contract with the Club until 2020.

"The 18-year-old has been a regular in the first team squad this season, having worked his way through our youth ranks, and has made 14 appearances in all competitions to date."

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