Tottenham need to believe

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli reacts after spurning a chance to score at Anfield. His manager has urged players to maintain belief that they can prevail in their pursuit of the title.
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli reacts after spurning a chance to score at Anfield. His manager has urged players to maintain belief that they can prevail in their pursuit of the title. PHOTO: REUTERS

Spurs manager remains optimistic despite dropping two points in Premier League title race with six games to go

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino was disappointed at seeing his Tottenham Hotspur side squander two points in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Liverpool but insisted they must still believe they can overtake league leaders Leicester City.

Second-placed Spurs, bidding to be crowned champions of England for the first time since 1961, could have heaped pressure on Leicester with a win on Saturday.

But Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool ahead and it required Harry Kane's 22nd league goal of the campaign to rescue even a point for the north London club at Anfield.

"There are six games ahead of us... so we need to believe," said Pochettino.

"In football all can happen. It was difficult to come here and try and win the three points but we were calm and believe in our quality. We feel disappointed but we still need belief."

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  • Tottenham Hotspur have recovered the most Premier League points from losing positions this season.

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  • Liverpool have dropped the most points from leading positions.

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  • Harry Kane has scored more goals in a Premier League campaign than any other Spurs player.

Tottenham's next match is at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

Last weekend represented the final occasion this season when Leicester played a game after Tottenham.

Over the next four weekends, the Foxes will play before their closest rivals, prior to the concluding two Premier League weekends of fixtures, all of which kick off simultaneously.

"You never know," said Pochettino when asked if playing ahead of Spurs gave Leicester an advantage.

"You cannot guess what will happen in the future but always the most important thing is to be focused on your game.

"It is not only dependent on us. It is dependent on us to win the games and Leicester to drop the points."

England international Kane has now set a new club record for goals in a Premier League season, although the prolific forward was predictably more interested in the result of the game and its impact on the title race.

"Of course it's a great achievement and one that I'm very proud of," he said.

"As a striker you want to score goals in every game you play in.

"So to get another goal today is nice - but they feel even better when you get the three points.

"It's good to get us back in the game and it would be nice to go on and win it."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp revealed he said "something nice" to Kane as he hugged the Tottenham man after the final whistle before paying tribute to his own scorer in Coutinho.

"Phil is a genius player," he said of the Brazilian, who has now scored in back-to-back games for Liverpool after going seven league games without a goal.

"But I really don't like that you always pick players out. Football is a team game. If you want to play alone, you have to pick a different game.

"We need this. It is about his talent and his potential. We have to want that we always play like this. When everyone plays at his best, imagine how good we could be."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'Tottenham need to believe'. Print Edition | Subscribe