Football: All is possible with this Tottenham side, says Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettini (left) congratulates Son Heung Min after the forward scores against Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Spurs won that fixture last month 2-1 and are the only unbeaten side in England's top division this season.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettini (left) congratulates Son Heung Min after the forward scores against Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Spurs won that fixture last month 2-1 and are the only unbeaten side in England's top division this season.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino is confident his Tottenham Hotspur side can achieve "big things" this season if the players can overcome the "mental problem" which hurt their chances of winning the Premier League last term.

Tottenham are the only unbeaten team in the Premier League after seven matches this season. Their fans believe they can go on to claim the title given the form and style they showed in dismantling leaders Manchester City 2-0 at White Hart Lane before the international break.

The London club, who lie second and play ninth-placed West Bromwich Albion away tomorrow, have also recorded five consecutive wins in all competitions. But Pochettino is advocating caution.

"It's difficult for me, I think it's too early (to speak of the title). I think we are building a very nice project and a very nice team," he told interviewer Jermaine Jenas, the former Tottenham player, on the BBC's Premier League Show.

"I think that we are in a moment where we need to believe and show that we are capable to manage big things, big games. I also think it's a great opportunity to show we are in the right way. I only think we need time.

"We are very young, we have a young squad but I think if you play with the passion that we play and you show the quality that we showed against Manchester City, all is possible.

"But I think it's too early. I can understand our fans feel proud and are starting to see that maybe this season it is possible to achieve big things."

Tottenham had the momentum going into the title run-in last season when they appeared capable of winning the English top-flight for the first time in 55 years.

But their players showed visible signs of tiredness at the end and they finished 10 points behind winners Leicester City in third place, allowing arch-rivals Arsenal to climb above them.

Pochettino, though, believes his side were undone by inexperience.

"It was an experience that we must learn from," he said. "It wasn't a physical problem. It was mental. When you lose the focus, it is impossible to move your body."

The Argentinian expects a tougher challenge from West Brom than they were given by City after admitting Tony Pulis' men killed their title dream -with two 1-1 draws - last season.

"If we are not focused, and we do not show passion and intensity, we will suffer a lot against a very strong, physical team," he said.

"They are a different type of team from City and will push us in a different way, but if you want to fight for big things and lift trophies, you need to adapt your game... we must be clever."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'All is possible with this Tottenham side: Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe