Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pochettino turns up heat on Premier League leaders Chelsea

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 Apr 2017

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino claims Chelsea would find it difficult to accept if they failed to win the Premier League this season.

Antonio Conte’s side hold a seven-point lead over second-placed Spurs as they head into their final eight matches of the 2016-17 campaign.

Conte claimed this week there is greater pressure on Chelsea than their London rivals to win silverware, and Pochettino has suggested the Blues would have few excuses if they surrendered their lead at this stage.

“When you are seven points above the second-placed team with eight games to go, it is normal in the end to win the league,” Pochettino told a news conference ahead of his side’s clash with Watford on Saturday.

“It is difficult enough to affect your own team, even when you are with them every day.

“Now it is up to them to win the league. We are in a position where we need to do our job, win games and put pressure on them.

“But it’s true that if after the last eight games of the season they haven’t won the league, it will be tough for them to accept.”

Pochettino was quick to stress, however, that he was not attempting to engage in a mind-game battle with their title rivals.

“I don’t believe in mind games,” he said. “The ‘mind game’ is to provide my team with belief and character, which we showed at Swansea [in a 3-1 victory].

“So it is very difficult to affect other teams or managers by playing mind games, as you call them in England. We are strong enough. We are the closest team in the league to Chelsea – that is the reality.

“We are in a different project [from Chelsea], we are a different club. Our history is massive, bigger than many other clubs’ in England.

“From when we arrived [in May 2014], the mentality has improved every single day. Many good things have happened here in the last two and a half years. I am so happy and feel very proud of our club and our fans.

“Maybe after all the work we have done, one day we will start to be rewarded for the way we play football. That is the way we believe we can win in the future.”

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