Sport 13.1.2017 10:10 am

Pochettino demands no more Spurs lows after highs

Pochettino demands no more Spurs lows after highs

Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his Tottenham Hotspur players to demonstrate their growing maturity when they face West Brom on Saturday in the wake of their impressive victory over Premier League leaders Chelsea.

by Ian WINROW

Pochettino’s side ended Chelsea’s run of 13 successive league victories by extending their own winning run to six games and moving up to third place, seven points adrift of the leaders.

Last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Aston Villa ensured they maintained the current momentum, but Pochettino knows the true test of his side’s credentials as title challengers will be to build on the Chelsea win.

Earlier this season, Spurs followed the impressive 2-0 defeat of Manchester City with a run of four league games without a win and Pochettino warned there can be no repeat.

“The Chelsea win was important, but remember a few months ago after City?” said the Spurs manager.

“I think now is a moment to show that we’ve learned. We have in front of us a very tough game and we need to show that we learned about a few months ago.

“If you remember, our performances dropped a little bit after a fantastic victory.

“Now after Chelsea it’s a great opportunity to show that we deserve it and to keep the momentum for us will be key.”

The Argentinian — whose side had a disappointing Champions League campaign failing to go through to the knockout stages — said he felt his players had added another string to their bow this term.

“I was very pleased after Chelsea because it wasn’t our best game but we competed and maybe we missed that a little bit last season -– to compete better in some games,” he said.

“Today it’s about maturity, it’s about learning, about experience.

“It doesn’t mean that we will win every game but it’s important to show that maturity that we showed against Chelsea.”

– ‘He’s Superman’ –
Dele Alli has been one of the stand-out figures during Spurs recent run with the England midfielder scoring seven goals in his last four league appearances.

Alli has attracted the attention of Real Madrid and French champions Paris Saint Germain — one of the Spurs manager’s former sides when he was a player — but Pochettino insists the 20-year-old is happy where he is.

“He is happy, he is performing well and that is the most important thing,” said the 44-year-old former international defender.

“He is performing well, scoring a lot of goals and helping the team achieve their objectives.

“People have been talking about him a lot in the last few weeks and that is fair, because his performances have been fantastic every time he has played.”

West Brom hope to have full-back Allan Nyom available to face Tottenham but they have spent the week attempting to obtain permission from the Cameroon FA for the former Watford defender to play.

Nyom asked not to be included in his country’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations and, after flying to Paris to meet the national team and state his case, he was omitted from the final 23-man squad.

However, West Brom still want written permission from Cameroon to use Nyom in club games during the tournament to avoid risking action from FIFA.

“We’ve got this Nyom situation going on with Cameroon which is just an unbelievable situation,” said manager Tony Pulis.

“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it before in my life.”

West Brom’s Northern Irish international defender Gareth McAuley will make his 200th appearance for the club at the age of 37.

“He’s superman,” said Pulis.

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