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Pochettino happy to finish fifth

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham must be “ambitious” after they finished their Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Everton.

Spurs recorded their first victory at Goodison Park since February 2007 thanks to a first-half header from Harry Kane, the forward in the right place to nod home Eric Dier’s excellent cross from the right touchline.

The positive result, coupled with Liverpool’s 6-1 loss at Stoke City, means Pochettino’s side end the campaign in fifth place, sending them straight into the group stage for next season’s Europa League.

“It’s very important,” Pochettino said about leapfrogging Liverpool in the standings.

“We go straight to the groups, so we have more time to prepare for the season. To finish above Liverpool, Southampton and Everton is a very good thing for Tottenham.

“For us next season, we will try to improve our squad and fight from the beginning of the season for the top four.

“It is a difficult thing, but we need to be ambitious.”

Pochettino was quick to praise not just the efforts of Kane, who finished with 31 goals for the campaign, but also some of the club’s other young players.

Among those singled out by the Tottenham boss was Nabil Bentaleb, who played as a makeshift left-back against Everton in the absence of both Danny Rose and Ben Davies.

“It’s a fantastic season for Harry,” Pochettino added.

“I would like to congratulate him and all the players – their efforts throughout the season have been fantastic.

“I’m happy for Harry, because it’s an important thing for the club.

“I’m very happy for the other younger ones too – for Bentaleb, for Ryan Mason and for Eric Dier. They are very, very young and deserve all the praise.

“Our group is very young but I’m very happy with the season.”

Sun 24 May, 2015
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