Mauricio Pochettino says consistency will define Tottenham's Premier League title bid
Last Updated: 27/12/18 5:51pm
Mauricio Pochettino insists consistency will determine whether they can battle league leaders Liverpool and Manchester City as real contenders for the title.
Tottenham moved second, ahead of reigning Premier League champions City, with a resounding 5-0 victory against Bournemouth on Boxing Day to leave them six points behind unbeaten Liverpool.
Pochettino, who remains without silverware during his tenure, refused to get carried away after Tottenham's fifth league victory in a row but admitted his squad have the confidence to be a threat in the title race.
"Now I am more relaxed. We are in a very good position. In a position that I think the team deserves to be but another thing is to be the real contender at the end of the season," Pochettino said.
"We need to be consistent during the whole of the season. Manchester City showed in the past that they can be a real contender because they won the last Premier League.
"Of course, Liverpool made an unbelievable investment and they are doing well. They are top of the table and these two teams are more realistic thinking that at the end of the season they are going to be contenders.
"We need to show ourself, to show everyone we can be a real contender [by] being consistent during the whole season.
"We are there because we have the belief, because we are working hard and of course we have the quality.
"It is hard to be in the position that we are in. Still we are a question mark. We will see if we are capable during the whole season to be consistent like in the first half of the season. Then we can talk that we can fight for big things."
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Pochettino said City were on "another level" to his side earlier in the season and despite Pep Guardiola's side suffering a second successive league defeat against Leicester, the Spurs boss insists "nothing has changed".
"Manchester City and Liverpool are showing today that they have the best team(s) in England," he said.
We are there (second in the Premier League) because we have the belief, because we are working hard and of course we have the quality.
"The circumstances are that one (Liverpool) is at the top and the other (City) are third in the table.
"But I still think nothing has changed. Until the end everyone is going to think Liverpool and City are above the rest of the teams."
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Tottenham finished third in 2016 as Leicester memorably won the league title, with Spurs unable to maintain the pressure on the Foxes over the closing weeks of the season.
But Pochettino, who has compiled the best points haul from the first half of the season since taking charge in 2014, believes his squad are a different proposition as they battle on all four fronts.
"Because we are getting the results that we have got is positive. It is so unfair to say that it is a positive thing because no one believed in us. People were saying it is important to regenerate the squad, to improve the squad," he added.
"But in the last four seasons we changed, have moved from different situations. Of course in the last few seasons we didn't change too much (personnel wise) but if you get good results like [we are] today people are going to talk very positively.
"But if we should be in a different position it will not stop people saying negative things about our decisions in the past. Sometimes it is unfair to talk about football because it all depends about the results. Sometimes the line is so thin.
"One negative or one positive can change the perception. That is why I am so calm, so relaxed. We need to be relaxed, calm and focused.
"We need to be humble, fight how we are fighting - try to achieve all that we want. Of course we have a massive belief. We have the faith in the way that we play.
"But there is still a long way to finish the season. We need to enjoy in the same time because this type of moment in clubs, like Tottenham, does not happen often."