Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino targets top-four finish

Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Mauricio Pochettino: Hopes to lift players for final 12 games

Mauricio Pochettino has called on his Tottenham players to lift themselves for the Premier League run-in after a double disappointment in the last week.

Spurs crashed out of the Europa League following a 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina last Thursday before losing by the same scoreline to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final just three days later.

That leaves the north London club with only a place in the Premier League top four to battle for over the remaining 12 games of the season - but Pochettino has stressed to his squad the need to look ahead rather than linger on the defeats.

"The target is the next game," said Pochettino. "I always told you about that. Now we have 12 games and we need to finish the season strongly. This is our objective and we need the three points against Swansea.

"We need to lift the players, we need to put an idea in the group that this is the most important game. It is difficult. Expectation was big but we need to forget that and we need to focus. Now we only have one competition and we need to win the three points."

Pochettino admitted spirits were low amongst the players on Monday morning following their Wembley loss to London neighbours Chelsea.

We need to lift the players, we need to put an idea in the group that this is the most important game. It is difficult. Expectation was big but we need to forget that and we need to focus. Now we only have one competition and we need to win the three points.
Mauricio Pochettino

"It was difficult - that is the reality," admitted Pochettino. "We are disappointed about the result. A difficult day after the final because we get two feelings, one a bad feeling but also you feel good because you did your best and performance was good.

"I spoke about the final to improve, this is a good game for growing, I think this is a very, very good opportunity to improve."

Tottenham will want to take all three points against an improving Swansea outfit on Wednesday night but, with the likes of former Spurs man Gylfi Sigurdsson in their side, Pochettino acknowledged that Garry Monk's men pose a threat.

The Swans head into the clash at White Hart Lane having won back-to-back matches which has seen them hit the magical 40-point mark.

"Swansea are a team who can play very good football, very good players and we know players like Sigurdsson," said Pochettino.

"It is an interesting game for us. It is a team which plays well, has a good philosophy, against Manchester United they were very good.

"It is important to get the three points. After Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final, we need to get some good feelings and this game is important."

The club have confirmed they will hold a minute's applause ahead of the fixture with Swansea after 1961 double-winner Dave Mackay passed away.

Black armbands will be worn by the squad and a number of the club's highest-profile former players will pay tribute to Mackay at half-time - with Pochettino describing the Scot as a Tottenham "legend".

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