Spurs must be consistent to fight for title: Pochettino

Son Heung-min scoring his second and Tottenham's fifth in the 6-2 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Spurs will be looking for their fifth league win in a row when they host Bournemouth at Wembley tomorrow.
Son Heung-min scoring his second and Tottenham's fifth in the 6-2 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Spurs will be looking for their fifth league win in a row when they host Bournemouth at Wembley tomorrow.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino urged caution over Tottenham's title prospects, but admitted his team could rival Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League crown, provided they maintain the form that demolished Everton 6-2 at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Spurs inflicted the heaviest defeat of Marco Silva's Everton tenure with an outstanding display that featured two goals apiece for Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

The South Korea international Son was applauded off by the home fans, such was his impact on a chastening afternoon for Everton and another demonstration of why Pochettino is coveted by Manchester United.

The Argentinian coach again refused to discuss "rumours" about a potential move to Old Trafford next summer and, though wary of talking up Spurs' title prospects, claimed consistency could make them a reality.

Pochettino said: "I still believe Liverpool and Manchester City are the real contenders and favourites to win the Premier League.

"We are there but so are Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. I think there is still a long way for me to say we are real contenders.

"Football is about being consistent of course. If we are able to be consistent and play in the way we did tonight, I think yes, maybe we could then be a real contender.

"We are involved in four competitions.

  • Consecutive wins for Tottenham in the Premier League, a run that has taken them to within two points of champions Man City, and six adrift of leaders Liverpool.

"I think we surprised everyone today with the energy and quality we showed which was amazing after playing Arsenal (in the League Cup) on Wednesday."

The Spurs manager said he was "proud" of the performance and that his team are getting closer to challenging for the championship.

He added: "If you compare the result with the past of Tottenham, then yes we were consistent, but not enough to be a real contender.

"Two seasons ago, when we were fighting with Leicester… the gap was so big with different teams that won the Premier League: Chelsea or Manchester City last season.

"Now we are close but we need to be cautious, go step by step, game by game.

"We need to be conscious about that, we need to fight a lot, and there is still a long way for work and to be consistent."

Spurs host eighth-placed Bournemouth at Wembley tomorrow and Dele Alli will almost certainly miss the match with a hamstring injury after being substituted at half-time following a bad challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

"He didn't feel a big problem. Maybe a little bit tired from Wednesday. I think he's going to be okay, but we need to assess him tomorrow," said Pochettino.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2018, with the headline 'Spurs must be consistent to fight for title: Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe