Monday 11 December 2017

'If you play the way we played you can't be worried' - Pochettino backs Spurs to bounce back in title race

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Ben Burrows

Mauricio Pochettino dismissed the idea that Tottenham’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea will have any impact on the outcome of the Premier League title race.

Eden Hazard climbed off the bench to inspire the Blues over the line after Spurs had twice leveled Willian goals through Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

But the introduction of the Belgian swung the game Chelsea’s way, the 26-year-old first edging them ahead before setting up Nemanja Matic to seal the game.

Tottenham remain just four points behind in the title race ahead of a midweek round of fixtures that sees them travel to Crystal Palace a day after Chelsea host Southampton.

And Pochettino believes the Wembley result will have little say on how the climax of the season plays out.

"It's not important - we will move on," Pochettino said. "The players are disappointed but tomorrow we will work again on the training ground and focus on the next game and the Premier League.

"If you play in the way we played today you cannot be worried.

"Sometimes you play well and don't win and now we must only be a little disappointed. The gap is four points and we will try to catch up," he added.

Defeat represents another slice of Wembley heartbreak for Spurs, but Pochettino, himself managing in his first semi-final with the club, chose instead to focus on the positives.

"This is my first semi-final... the past is the past,” he added.

"I feel very proud because we played very well, with lots of personality & character and dominated a great team"

(© Independent News Service)

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