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No such thing as a West Brom hoodoo, says Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino

Published 12/01/2017

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, right, is yet to beat West Brom counterpart Tony Pulis at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, right, is yet to beat West Brom counterpart Tony Pulis at White Hart Lane.

Mauricio Pochettino insists West Brom do not hold a hoodoo over Tottenham at White Hart Lane - despite the Baggies not losing there in five years.

Tony Pulis takes his side to north London on Saturday looking to extend an unbeaten run which stretches back to January 2012.

A 1-1 draw towards the end of last season was damaging to Tottenham's ultimately forlorn Premier League title hopes - and West Brom have already impressed this campaign in narrow defeats at Chelsea and Arsenal.

Despite Tottenham's last win in Saturday's fixture coming under Harry Redknapp, with West Brom managed at the time by Roy Hodgson, Pochettino does not believe his side have a mental block when it comes to beating Albion.

"The past is the past," he said in reference to April's draw between the pair.

"That's a different season, a different circumstance. It's always tough to play them. This season West Brom are doing a fantastic job. It's always difficult to play a team managed by Tony Pulis."

Speaking about West Brom's recent good record at White Hart Lane, the Spurs boss continued: "I think it is a coincidence.

"I think one of the best spells of football we played last season was in the first half against West Brom. In two and a half years it was the best performance of football we played as a team.

"If you see that first 45 minutes how we played from front to back the movement, the chances we created, we were unlucky in the second half, in one set piece we conceded the goal.

"But no, no, in our minds all we want is to get the three points and play. It will be tough because it is a good team, but nothing more."

Pochettino also refused to highlight the two points dropped when Craig Dawson cancelled out his own-goal on April 25 to leave eventual champions Leicester needing just one point to take the title.

"Yes, but you never lose the title in one game," he said when asked if the second-half of that game was a big moment in the title race.

"You lose the title in the moment when you say you cannot fight for it mathematically. But you lose the title before that, not in that game. In every game. We can speak about different games during the season. Not just about West Brom or Chelsea (a 2-2 draw which saw Leicester win the league).

"It is only at the end when you lose the last possibility to be champions. But it was not that moment. It was not the final where you lose the opportunity. Its about 38 games, maybe for me the first the last and the middle games that are important.

"It is true that the reference point is when you have don't have the opportunity to challenge, and maybe West Brom or Chelsea was the last few games that you lost the opportunity to win the Premier League."

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