Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino felt Sunday’s 2-1 win at Manchester City was more significant than just another three points gained but refused to talk up his side’s Premier League title chances.
Goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, either side of Kelechi Iheanacho’s equaliser, sent Spurs back into second place following Arsenal’s win against leaders Leicester City earlier on Sunday.
Pochettino has repeatedly played down his side’s prospects of winning the league and again sought to manage expectations despite an impressive display at Etihad Stadium.
“I am very pleased because it wasn’t just a game, it means a lot more than just three points,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think we showed ourselves that it’s important to have this type of experience for the future. We’re very young and today before [the] game you can feel it wasn’t a normal game.
“This type of game and experience is very important for the future but my speech is the same, we need to go step by step. We need to work hard and keep the right mentality. We have a lot of games and different competitions.
“It’s important to give your best every day. I think it’s important for me to be calm, the way we have been from the start of the season is perfect and we need to carry on.
“We have a clear plan and we have to deliver that.”
Pochettino did not want to discuss the controversial penalty given against Raheem Sterling for handball, which allowed Kane to open the scoring, instead praising his players for their composure against a City side now in danger of drifting out of the title race.
“It’s difficult to play a big team like City,” he added. “I am very happy with the performance and happy for all the players.
“Yes it’s true that [staying calm] was our plan, I think we delivered the plan perfectly and I am very happy with the team – that they come here and play the way we always play.
“We are a young squad, we play against a team who have world champions, world-class players, it’s a lot of credit to our players.
“City needed to show that they wanted to win the game but we were calm and we played well. We defended well and always the mentality is to try score and win game.”