Football: Tottenham keeping title race interesting, says Pochettino

Tottenham's Harry Kane (third right) celebrates a goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup competition.
Tottenham's Harry Kane (third right) celebrates a goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup competition.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (REUTERS) - Mauricio Pochettino said it would be great for the Premier League if his side can keep the title race alive with a victory at West Ham United on Friday (May 5).

Tottenham have been relentless in their chase of long-time leaders Chelsea and will close the gap to one point if they can clock up a 10th successive league victory.

Chelsea, who were 10 points ahead a few weeks ago, do not play until Monday, when they host relegation-threatened Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge.

"I think it's important for us of course and for the Premier League to put pressure, to keep interest until the end of the season," Pochettino told reporters on Thursday.

"It's a great opportunity for us, Friday, to try to reduce the gap and put a little bit of pressure on them.

"It's true that the gap is important, only four games to play, but of course we will play another derby against West Ham and it will be a very, very tough game.

"If we are not capable of getting the three points it will be difficult."

Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in a row in the league, scoring 11 goals in the process, and are brimming with confidence as they head to their London rivals.

"The team have shown in the last few months great belief," he said. "You can see the results at the end."

The only fly in the ointment for Tottenham are rumours linking right back Kyle Walker with a big-money summer move.

Media reports say Walker, an integral part of the meanest defence in the top flight, wants to leave after being left out in some recent games, notably the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea and Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal, which Tottenham won 2-0.

Pochettino refused to be drawn on specualtion regarding Walker's future on Thursday.

"Kyle is on the list for Friday's match and I cannot confirm whether he is happy or not because these are just rumours, and if I commented on every rumour my press conferences would be two hours long," Pochettino said.

"But every single player on the squad list for Friday is focused on trying to help the club achieve."

Left back Danny Rose is still not ready to return from a knee injury but could feature before the end of the season.

"We hope that in the next session he can stay with the group training and then decide if he is in condition to play," he said.

"The most important thing now is that he feels good."