Pochettino: Title race not over

By: Dean Carr

Photo Unattributed

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino admits Chelsea’s nine-point lead at the top of the Premier League is ‘massive’ - but has declared the title race very much alive.

Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Arsenal last weekend left many believing the title race was finished, as they comfortably dismantled the Gunners without playing close to their maximum potential. 

Tottenham are only one of three teams to beat Antonio Conte’s men this season and are they only side to do so since they switched to a three-man defence. Despite the fact they won’t have another opportunity to take points from the Blues, Pochettino says the nine point lead is far from ‘decisive’.

"We are in the table after Chelsea, and we are a contender but then there are a lot of teams that are contenders," the Argentine said.

                              For the second season running Spurs are playing catch-up in the title race

"There are a lot of games ahead. It is true that Chelsea have a big gap, a massive gap - nine points is massive - but it is not decisive.

"The important thing is to reduce  the gap to Chelsea. Although they are not in a good run, Liverpool have one of the best squads in England."

Spurs travel to Liverpool on Saturday evening looking to win their first game against the Reds since November 2012, while their recent record in front of the Kop doesn’t read kindly - they’ve won just twice in their last twenty-seven visits to Anfield.

However, Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp have been well-matched since the German arrived in the Premier League, having drawn all three of their league meetings, although Klopp came out on top earlier in the season in the EFL Cup.

                                  Danny Rose has been one of Spurs' standout performers this season

The 44-year-old was later asked about the fitness of key full-back Danny Rose and he gave an optimistic response to his chances of featuring, as well as giving an update on Jan Vertonghen.

"I am not a doctor but I can explain that he is very positive, we are very positive and he is happy," he added. "I was talking with him now - before the press conference - and we are happy after he saw the specialist.

"It is not a big issue - it is a minor problem, a small problem, and we will see. We hope that he can be available again as soon as possible.

"Jan Vertonghen (who has had an ankle injury) will maybe next week  be available again to work with the team."

About Dean Carr

Dean Carr of SBAT