Tony Pulis claimed Tottenham underlined their status as one of the Premier League’s elite teams in a 4-0 win over his West Brom side but feels fixture commitments in Europe could hinder a Spurs title bid.
Harry Kane netted a hat-trick for the hosts at White Hart Lane, with Gareth McAuley deflecting Christian Eriksen’s shot into his own net before half-time for Tottenham’s second.
England striker Kane hailed his team’s best performance of the season as they made it six wins in succession in the Premier League.
Spurs are now second ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United on Sunday and face fourth-place Manchester City next time out at the Etihad Stadium.
Pulis believes those sides, along with leaders Chelsea and Arsenal, will pull further away from the pack as the season progresses.
He did, though, cite Chelsea and Liverpool’s failure to qualify for Europe as a factor granting them a handy advantage in 2016-17.
“The top six clubs this year will finish further away than the rest of us than ever before. They are that far ahead,” he told a post-match news conference after defeat left Albion 10 points off sixth-place United.
“It’s how much momentum they can keep and how lucky they’ll be with injuries and suspensions and that could determine it.
“Tottenham are still in the cup competitions, that’s why I would edge more towards those who are not in the cups – especially in Europe – because they’ll have a free run at it.
“I think it will be a record number of points between the sixth and the seventh position in the Premier League.”
Tottenham bowed out of the Champions League after failing to get out of their group but did finish third ahead of CSKA Moscow to earn a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men face Gent in the round of 32 next month.
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