Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to finish on a high as title challenge fades

06 May 2017 07:39

Mauricio Pochettino called on Tottenham to finish the season strongly despite seeing their title hopes all but disappear.

A 1-0 derby defeat at London rivals West Ham on Friday night almost certainly handed the Premier League crown to Chelsea.

The Blues could even wrap the title up before Tottenham kick a ball again with wins over Middlesbrough at home, on Monday, and at West Brom on Friday.

And Spurs boss Pochettino admitted: "It's difficult to be focused on Chelsea.

"If you're not able to win and put pressure on them, then whatever happens is the worst.

"Now it's better to forget it a little bit and see what happens, and try to analyse and understand why it was difficult for us to get the three points here.

"We try to move on and finish the season in the best way, still fighting."

Manuel Lanzini's 65th-minute strike proved decisive as West Ham ensured they are now mathematically safe from relegation.

The Hammers have endured a torrid season, but it seems there is nothing like a home game against Tottenham to rouse them and their fans - just a year ago a 1-0 defeat at Upton Park put a major dent in Spurs' eventually unsuccessful title bid.

And for all the talk of the lack of atmosphere at their new home, as Lanzini smashed home the winner a roar went up like nothing heard at the former Olympic Stadium since Mo Farah came down the home straight in 2012.

"With all the obstacles we have had this season the guys deserve a lot of credit," said manager Slaven Bilic, who has had to cope with continual speculation about his future.

"Every time we have needed to do it, we have done it.

"It was an important one for them and for us, and under the lights, on a Friday night, against them - you can't beat that feeling."

Source: PA


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