I won’t celebrate Chelsea away win any differently, says Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino
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The 46-year-old was overjoyed to claim all three points at Stamford Bridge, but after the match he showed his desire to firmly put Spurs on the map
The emotions of Spurs fans were at a high after the club finally ended their 28-year wait for an away victory at Stamford Bridge, but Mauricio Pochettino demonstrated his ambition for the club with a classy and telling reaction to questions after the win.
It would have been understandable for the Tottenham Hotspur boss to hit back at the critics who have constantly questioned, perhaps fairly on some occasions, the Lilywhites record away at the top-six in the Premier League.
Pochettino could have also highlighted his tactical switch at half time against Chelsea, less than a month after he was criticised for not reacting quick enough during Spurs’ Champions League last-16 loss to Juventus.
He also could have had a pop at opposite number Antonio Conte, with the pair clashing during the past, or spent time talking about how big a victory it was for the club moving forward.
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Instead, when told by reporters ending Tottenham’s 28-year wait for an win away to Chelsea was an achievement, Pochettino showed his inner steel to achieve much more than just landmark victories with this group of players.
He said: “I am so happy, we are so happy for our fans because after 28 years we have won at Stamford Bridge again and that is a massive thing again, for our fans and for Tottenham.
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“But it’s only a game and we still only win three points. No more than that. I will celebrate in the same way as I have in the past (after every win).”
It was a classy reaction from a manager who wouldn’t have been begrudged a moment or two to blow his own triumph at Stamford Bridge.
Yet, the talk after the success centred around we, not I and that’s what is driving this talented and excited squad forward.
No matter what people say, winning away at a top-six rival had held Tottenham back over the last two seasons in particular.
Had they secured more points on the road against the likes of Manchester City, United, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal in the 2015/16 or 2016/17 campaign, they may have a Premier League title in the trophy cabinet.
As it is, they don’t, but it seems Sunday’s victory at the Blues could be a crucial step in the right direction for this team and perhaps the next big test is on April 21 when Spurs take on Jose Mourinho’s side in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
If Tottenham can see off the Red Devils, like they did comfortably on January 31, it will only add to the growing confidence of the group and continue to show everyone on the outside progress is being made.
What was all the more impressive about the 3-1 success at Chelsea was the fact it was done virtually without Harry Kane.
The England man was introduced for the final 16 minutes at Stamford Bridge – making a remarkable recovery after suffering ankle ligament damage just three weeks ago on March 10.
Kane obviously makes Tottenham a much better team, but the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen stepped up in his absence at Chelsea.
Spurs face Stoke City next and Pochettino had some concerning news for the relegation-threatened Potters regarding Saturday’s clash.
On Kane, he added: “For him to play 20 minutes or 30 minutes, he was ready. Of course we’ll never take a risk with any player. We’ll see now during the week and if he’s working hard maybe he has the possibility to play against Stoke.”
It seems very likely the club’s top goalscorer will return on Saturday and if he can get his mojo back quickly, it is an exciting prospect for the fans of the north Londoners as we head into the business end of the season.
Tottenham ended their 28-year wait for a win at Chelsea on April Fools’ Day and it may well help Spurs also end their 17-year wait for an FA Cup win on May 19 too!