Mauricio Pochettino urges Tottenham Hotspur players to keep fighting for top-four finish in the Premier League
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Spurs looked to have lost ground in the battle for a Champions League spot on Sunday, but Liverpool’s shock defeat at Swansea has lifted spirits again
Mauricio Pochettino had no complaints after watching Spurs only manage a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday.
Harry Kane’s 99th goal in the Premier League was only able to secure Tottenham Hotspur a point at St Mary’s after an early own-goal from Davinson Sanchez.
With Saints in the bottom three going into the game, Spurs were expected to chalk up another victory, but found Mauricio Pellegrino’s team a tough nut to break.
Tottenham pushed for a winner after Kane’s leveller in the 18th minute, but never got out of first gear despite Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and Kane all going close.
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It wasn’t one-way traffic though, with Jack Stephens and Michael Obafemi, on his debut, both having efforts go wide, but it fairly finished all square in the end.
“The game was even and full credit to Southampton because I think they showed fight and played well,” said Pochettino.
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“It is a fair result in the end and even though there were massive chances, like we had in the last minute with Harry, at the end if you analyse the game, it’s a fair result.”
The mood following the draw was not too positive with many feeling Tottenham had wasted a big opportunity to move into the top-four.
Spirits were slightly lifted on Monday, however, when Swansea City caused a shock and defeated Liverpool 1-0.
At the end of game week 24, Spurs have actually bridged the gap between themselves and the Champions League places followings the Reds surprise defeat in Wales.
Even so, Tottenham were well below-par at St Mary’s and will need to be better if they are to move back up to fourth soon with some tricky games coming up.
Pochettino’s men are next in league action on January 31 (Wednesday) when Manchester United visit Wembley Stadium.
A trip to Liverpool awaits soon after (February 4) and Arsenal travel to Brent on February 10 – games which will be pivotal in the battle for the top-four.
The Spurs boss added: “Of course they will be important and if we are going to take points and win those games we are going to have to fight. If not, it will be difficult.”
Tottenham’s form since the start of December has been impressive, but they need to keep it up if they want to secure Champions League football for next season.
Additional reporting by Press Association Sport.