Spurs boss: There are seven teams in the Premier League title race
Mauricio Pochettino is adamant that the Premier League title fight is not a two-horse race and insists he has not even discounted seventh-placed Southampton as challengers.
With seven games remaining, Spurs sit five points behind leaders Leicester City as they bid to win the domestic crown for the first time since 1961 – but Tottenham’s head coach believes there are a number of contenders in the frame.
“For me, at the moment we are competing with different teams, not only Leicester,” said Pochettino. “Arsenal, Manchester City, West Ham, Manchester United and Southampton have the possibility because mathematically it is possible.
“Seven games is a lot of points and in football you never know what can happen, you always need to be focused in every game. It is not only a race between Leicester and us or Arsenal. A lot of clubs and teams are involved.
“I am realistic because in football everything can happen. Like we believe we can win the title, I think other teams have the facility to fight with us.
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“We have seven games and it’s important to fight until the end of the season with the possibility to achieve big things, because one is the possibility to win the title and another is to finish in the top four, which is a very important achievement for the club and for us.
“We need to try to win every game and wait for Leicester to drop points, but we are not focusing on seven games - we are focused on Saturday, the most important game. We will try to win the game and then wait to see what happens in other stadiums.
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“It’s important for us to follow the same way - to be focused on our game, trying to perform well and deserve to win and then wait to see what happens because it doesn’t only depend on us - but 99 per cent depends on us to fight until the end of the season for the title.”
It is a huge surprise to see Leicester, who were 5000-1 to win the league at the start of the season, and Tottenham leading the way - but Pochettino believes it could be a sign of things to come in the Premier League.
“In football you cannot guess because today football is changing,” he said. “I think it’s impossible to compare with the past because the teams that were on the bottom last season have improved a lot and invested a lot of money and they have reduced the gap with the teams at the top.
“I think for the future we wait for the Premier League to be more competitive than it was in the past. The teams that are on the bottom have improved a lot because the financial situation has changed and is different from other leagues, like Spain or Italy or France, where the gap is massive.
“Here, I think in the next few years it will be a tougher competition between the teams, and this is good for English football.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs