London, April 19 (IANS) Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised his players after their 4-0 demolition of Stoke City, asserting that the performance demonstrated that they are ready to fight for the English Premier League (EPL) title.
Monday night’s win saw second-placed Tottenham log 68 points in 34 matches, five points behind leaders Leicester City. With four games still to go, Pochettino felt that his team have the belief and passion for closing the gap.
“We need to believe that is possible. It is good for the competition that we are in behind to try and put pressure on Leicester,” the Argentine told the local media after the match.
“The most important thing is the performance we showed today was perfect. It is a big signal we are there waiting and fighting,” he added.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli scored twice each as Tottenham kept their hopes for a first top division title since the 1960-61 season alive.
Tottenham play after Leicester in each of their next three games — against West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea, and Southampton — but Pochettino felt that it may suit his players as they do not look like slipping up.
“I feel very proud. Our supporters were fantastic and they feel proud of us. I think this an exciting moment for the club. In football all can happen and, if Leicester fail, we need to be there. We need to try and reduce the gap. This is our dream,” he said.
Alli had an outstanding game, with his two goals taking his season’s tally to 10. But he was also guilty of missing an open goal, when he took the ball around Stoke goalkeeper Shay Given, only to hit the post.
However, the England international’s performance drew praise even from the Stoke fans when he was substituted six minutes from the end.
“He played very well. He is very young and some ups and downs are normal. But he showed unbelievable skill, two goals scored, one clear miss. Today for me, though, we need to give the credit to the whole team, because the collective effort was fantastic,” Pochettino said.