Football: 'Nearly impossible' for Spurs to bounce back in title race, says Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino reacts during their match against Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino reacts during their match against Chelsea.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (REUTERS) - Tottenham Hotspur face a "nearly impossible" task to try and win the Premier League this season with back-to-back defeats denting their title bid, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday (March 1).

A 2-0 loss to London rivals Chelsea and a 2-1 defeat by Burnley left third-placed Tottenham with 60 points from 28 matches, nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool and eight behind defending champions Manchester City.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's derby meeting with Arsenal, the Argentine conceded that a first ever Premier League title for Spurs was almost completely out of reach.

"It was difficult after the Burnley defeat and after Chelsea it's nearly impossible. We need to win every game and with two opponents above us they need to lose a lot," Pochettino told a news conference.

"Until you finish and mathematically it can be possible, of course you can dream, but to be honest it's not a possibility. The percentage is not too big."

Tottenham's chances of finishing in the top four are even hanging in the balance with Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea breathing down their necks.

However, Pochettino believes his side are still over-achieving.

"The feeling is a bit weird because everyone would've signed to be in the position we're in today. And you're asking me about Arsenal being only four points behind, and Manchester United and Chelsea behind them," he added.

"I think we are living in a different reality because with all of the circumstances Tottenham deserve big praise to be in the position we are in at this stage of the season.

"We are disappointed with the last two results but we must keep going and trust in our team."

Jan Vertonghen and Harry Winks are both nursing hip injuries and will be assessed before the game at Wembley Stadium while Dele Alli (hamstring) and Eric Dier (illness) will miss out.