Pochettino recalls what might have been as Tottenham head back to Stoke
Mauricio Pochettino takes his side to face Stoke less than five months after a convincing win in the Potteries left him thinking Tottenham were on the verge of Premier League title glory.
Two goals apiece from Harry Kane and Dele Alli saw Spurs win 4-0 at Stoke on April 18 as they kept their championship ambitions alive in emphatic style.
They remained outsiders as eventual champions Leicester still held a five-point lead with four games left, but that did not stop Pochettino believing he was guiding the north London club to the top prize.
But it proved to be Tottenham's final win of the campaign as a damaging home draw with West Brom and a London derby against Chelsea, which saw the Blues fight back from 2-0 down to take a point, left them with too much work to do.
Their season reached a mediocre conclusion as back-to-back defeats to Southampton and Newcastle saw Spurs slip to third, 11 points behind Leicester and one behind fierce local rivals Arsenal.
Asked if he thought Spurs were going to win the league after the win at Stoke, Pochettino replied: "Yes.
"After our performance and our victory, it was a fantastic 4-0, we all believed it would be possible to win the league, yes.
"One thing is to believe and another is to deliver and win games, it was difficult and then it was the draw against West Brom at home.
"We played some of the best football in the first 45 minutes, because it was fantastic the way we played.
"Then in the second half, in our set-piece from a corner, they scored and it was a draw and we felt very disappointed, then it was Chelsea.
"It is true that after Stoke we felt it was possible, difficult but possible.
"The confidence and the belief is important for the team and the players but then you need to deliver.
"Always in our minds we are winners but then you have to deliver and I think maybe we didn't compete in the way we must compete to win the league.
"That is where we need to improve this season, to compete better."
Pochettino has revealed new signing Moussa Sissoko could feature at the bet365 Stadium this time around following his deadline-day arrival from Newcastle.
And while the club forked out a reported £30million for the France international, Pochettino says it is the club's infrastructure that attracts top quality players and not the money they could earn elsewhere.
"Our power is not on the financial side, our power is our facilities, the way we play, it is in the way our supporters show passion," he added.
"I think Tottenham is a very big club for players that have passion and want to play not only for money but to achieve things and enjoy football.
"Maybe we need to ask people outside Tottenham, but we feel inside that in the last window that Tottenham is a very special team for players who want to enjoy football."