Football: We have the pedigree to qualify for the Champions League, says Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Mauricio Pochettino during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United on Nov 22, 2015.
Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Mauricio Pochettino during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United on Nov 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Reuters - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino urged his side to keep producing the kind of football that saw them dismiss London rivals West Ham 4-1 on Sunday and said they have the quality to qualify for the Champions League.

Tottenham, unbeaten in the league since a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United on the opening day, moved to within four points of surprise leaders Leicester City.

They also jumped three points clear of sixth-placed West Ham, whose best start to a Premier League season was rudely arrested, and lie fifth on 24 points, two behind Arsenal and third-placed Manchester City and three off Manchester United.

Pochettino's men were rarely troubled by West Ham on Sunday, with Harry Kane scoring twice and Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker also getting on the scoresheet.

The stylish performance definitely pleased Pochettino. "After the game that we've played, I think that we have quality enough," Pochettino said of a potential top-four finish and a Champions League berth.

"It was a complete performance from the team. Maybe it was the best of the season, but it was certainly one of the best. It's about philosophy, and how we defend when we don't have the ball.

"We have a very strong mentality in the team in terms of working to help our team-mates. And, when we have the ball, we always look forward."

Pochettino said, however, that it was crucial to maintain that level of performance if Spurs were to reach their goals.

"We were fantastic, but in football you have to show it today and tomorrow in the coming games. We have to show the level that we reached here. We cannot stop."

West Ham were playing without the injured Dimitri Payet, who has been ruled out for three months with an ankle injury, but manager Slaven Bilic refused to blame the midfielder's absence for their embarrassing defeat.

"No excuses, they were better," he said. "They were quicker than us, physically stronger, scored goals and grew in confidence. We have to admit it could have been more. It was a shock."