Spurs aiming to lay down a title marker

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino wants his players to demonstrate their Premier League title credentials in today's crunch clash against Pep Guardiola's ailing Manchester City.

Tottenham climbed to second place in the table last weekend by outclassing West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and are seeking to register seven successive league wins for the first time since 1967.

City were on the wrong side of the same scoreline at Everton, but Pochettino is more concerned about leaders Chelsea's seven-point lead than the six-point gap his side could open up over Guardiola's men.

"We have to try to show that we can be real contenders for the Premier League," the Argentinian said. "That's the real challenge. It's more important that we can show ourselves, rather than show Manchester City.

"We need to show ourselves we are capable of dealing with that pressure and to try to win games to achieve big things. I think it's not important today the gap that we can take (over City).

"The most important thing will be our performance - to show that we have improved a lot and learnt from last season."

SENDING A MESSAGE

We have to try to show that we can be real contenders for the Premier League. It's more important that we can show ourselves, rather than show Manchester City.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO, Tottenham Hotspur manager, urging his team to rise to the occasion with a seventh league win on the spin.

He expects Guardiola to have a few tricks up his sleeve today and warns that the Spaniard should not be underestimated, saying: "I know Pep Guardiola very well, he's a great manager, one of the best, and you can expect different things."

"When you arrive at a new club you need to adapt your values to a new culture, and it's difficult, but I don't change my opinion of him.

"I am not someone who judges other people. The expectation was massive when Guardiola signed. People thought he would win the Premier League after 10 games. That's impossible.

"But I have no doubt that with time he will be a success."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'Spurs aiming to lay down a title marker'. Print Edition | Subscribe