Goal difference could be decisive in race for top-four finish says Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino congratulates team-mate Lucas Moura after the final wh

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino congratulates team-mate Lucas Moura after the final whistle at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Tottenham Hotspur are third in the Premier League and their goal difference is probably worth a point over Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal

Mauricio Pochettino admitted Spurs’ 4-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday could be key for a number of reasons.

The victory saw Tottenham Hotspur strengthen their grip on third-spot in the Premier League with only seven games left.

Not only was the three points a boost for their top-four hopes, Lucas Moura’s treble and Victor Wanyama’s opener helped the Lilywhites increase their positive goal difference to +30 which is must better than Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Pochettino said: “For sure it’s going to be tough. We are fighting against big sides and teams that are built to win the league or to win big trophies or be in the top four.

“We are going to fight against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United and I think until the end it will be a massive and a very tough race.

“Of course, to score goals in that opportunity can help in the end. We know very well goal difference can be decisive at the end of the season to achieve the top four.”

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Saturday’s victory was all the more impressive considering Pochettino made seven changes to the team which saw off Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks missed out with injuries while Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld and Heung-min Son were on the bench.

In their absence, Moura and Wanyama stepped up to the mark while Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth and Fernando Llorente had an impact.

Asked about the importance of the comprehensive 4-0 win, Pochettino replied: “It’s so important because seven changes, I think this result builds the confidence in the squad and team.

“It’s true a few changes were because of injuries, but it’s so important all our players feel so comfortable, happy and fit with the trust that they can compete and be an important part of the team.

“Players like Juan Foyth, Ben Davies, Davinson (Sanchez), Kyle Walker-Peters, Fernando (Llorente) and Victor Wanyama, it’s so important for them to play 90 minutes and feel they can help the team and feel important.

“I think it makes us stronger and it is true we have ahead a very busy period and it is important all the players feel they can fight for one place to start in every single game.”

After strolling past Huddersfield, Tottenham can expect two toughest tests against City in the Champions League and Premier League over the next week.