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Stoke City v Tottenham: Pochettino focused on performance

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 May 2015

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Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino is focused on maintaining a high performance level when he takes his side to Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Hopes of a UEFA Champions League berth have diminished significantly for Tottenham in recent weeks, registering just one win in their last five fixtures to leave them seven points adrift of fourth place with three matches to play.

Pochettino was, nevertheless, pleased with his side’s display in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City last time out and hopes a similar display will secure three points this weekend.

“It’s one of the harder games,” he said. “For the conditions, for the way that they play, I think we should expect a very tough game.

“We need to go with a good mentality to get the three points.

“I think we need to recognise that Stoke have played well during the season and taken very good results.

“The most important thing is our performance.

“It was a shame against Manchester City that we could take nothing positive in terms of points, but I think we need to keep our performance and try to take three points on Saturday.

“We are in a good way, but we need to improve after a defeat.”

A record of one win in six has left Stoke clinging on to their place in the top half of the table, but Pochettino is wary of the threat posed by Saturday’s hosts, who claimed a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture.

“I think we will play well, but we need to compete better and be careful of our opposition because playing at the highest level you can get punished,” he added. 

“It [the Premier League] is the toughest competition in the world, so it isn’t a matter of just playing well; you need to be able to compete as well.”

Stoke received their first red card of the season in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Swansea City, ruling Marc Wilson out for the visit of Tottenham, while Bojan (knee) and Victor Moses (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Ben Davies is Tottenham’s only absentee with a shoulder injury.

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