Tottenham must focus and deliver: Pochettino

LONDON • Tottenham may not be enjoying the best of "circumstances" owing to a raft of injuries and a packed fixture schedule, but Mauricio Pochettino has called for one last push from his stretched side.

Spurs' participation in next season's Champions League will be guaranteed for the fourth year running if they emerge with a victory at Bournemouth in their penultimate Premier League game today.

And, while Pochettino will have to travel with a squad that are thin on the ground - Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier are all injured - the Argentinian wants his players to "focus on our job and deliver".

Ahead of their trip to Dean Court, he said: "The problem now is it's a decisive period for us. It's a key moment. Playing the second leg of the semi-final (against Ajax next Wednesday) and playing (today) against Bournemouth.

"Now it's not to talk too much. Finishing in the top four is our priority, too."

However, he may also have to do without Jan Vertonghen after the Belgium international suffered a clash of heads with teammate Toby Alderweireld in their midweek 1-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg loss to the Dutch outfit.

Although Spurs were relieved after the diagnosis ruled out concussion, which would have placed his appearance in next week's second leg in Amsterdam in jeopardy, "the specialist has recommended that the player undertakes a brief period of rehabilitation before returning to training".

CRUNCH TIME

The problem now is it's a decisive period for us... Now it's not to talk too much. Finishing in the top four is our priority, too.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO, Tottenham manager, on their upcoming matches.

But Pochettino does not want to use their injury list as an excuse, with the 47-year-old aiming to end the term on a high with his first trophy as a manager.

In an interview with Gary Lineker for the BBC's Premier League show, he said while he was "in football because it's my passion, he also wanted to win".

Pochettino added: "We need trophies and we need to fight for big things, to have the opportunity to win the Champions League and Premier League.

"We finished the training ground and built a new stadium, but now we must be focused, all together, on winning titles."

Spurs have yet to lift any silverware since their 2008 League Cup triumph. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2019, with the headline 'Tottenham must focus and deliver: Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe