Friday 28 October 2016

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino: The title race is not over yet

Published 25/04/2016 | 23:26

Mauricio Pochettino feels Tottenham can still catch Leicester
Mauricio Pochettino feels Tottenham can still catch Leicester

Mauricio Pochettino has refused to give up on Tottenham's Barclays Premier League title challenge despite a draw at home to West Brom delivering a potentially decisive blow.

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Craig Dawson headed the Baggies level after his first-half own goal had put Spurs ahead - with Pochettino seeing his side hit the woodwork on three occasions.

The 1-1 draw means Leicester can win the title with victory at Manchester United on Sunday as they sit seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham with just three games remaining.

But Pochettino is not giving up on delivering a first title since 1961.

"It is not over," he said. "The gap is seven points and we have ahead three games.

"It is true that it is very difficult, more difficult than before the game, but we still believe and we are still fighting.

"We have to hope Leicester drop points and we get three points at Chelsea (next Monday).

"It is important to still fight. The objective is still there, it is more difficult than before but the gap with Arsenal and Manchester City (in fourth and third) is five points and we need to keep this gap but it is important to win in case Leicester drop points so we can win the title."

Pochettino could yet lose PFA young player of the year Dele Alli for the title run-in after footage seemed to show him aim a punch at the midriff of West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob during the first half.

The 20-year-old had been upended twice in the early stages by Yacob and seemed to react as the two came together in the penalty area.

"I hear some comments but I have no time to see the action," added Pochettino.

"Sometimes the opponent find him and try to provoke, they know he has a strong character and may react.

"I don't know what has happened, we will see. I have nothing to comment now but Dele has a strong character if you wind him up."

West Brom were much more resolute in their defensive approach than in last Thursday's defeat at Arsenal.

Tony Pulis was bellowing and instructing his players from his technical box for much of the contest and the Baggies boss was delighted with the outcome - backing Tottenham to develop their recent title-winning credentials in the coming years.

"I was disappointed at Arsenal but very happy with how we have played away at the big clubs this season," he said.

"Against all the bigger clubs we have played well, Arsenal was the only ground we have been disappointed at.

"Tottenham are a fantastic team and their future is bright. Something that has not been said is that Tottenham have played a lot of games on a Thursday night and playing Thursday then Sunday is difficult and where they are now is a fantastic achievement.

"I know they will be disappointed but they still have a chance, Leicester still have to get the points and Tottenham are capable of winning all three games."

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