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Pochettino urges Spurs to maintain focus after strengthening title bid

Watford 1-2 Tottenham

By Tom Allnutt

Published 29/12/2015

Late show: Son Heung-Min pounces in the closing minutes to give Tottenham all three points
Late show: Son Heung-Min pounces in the closing minutes to give Tottenham all three points

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham can win the Premier League title but wants his players to stay grounded after their last-gasp win at Watford.

Spurs moved into third and above Manchester City, who play Leicester tonight, after Son Heung-min scored late on to snatch a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road.

Watford defender Nathan Ake was sent off after Odion Ighalo had earlier cancelled out Erik Lamela's opener but the Hornets hung on for the best part of half an hour before Son's cute finish.

The result means Tottenham have managed three straight wins in the league but Pochettino insists his players must not get carried away by the table.

"Can we win the title? The numbers reflect that it is possible but the most important thing for us is to try to keep inside our thoughts, try to win every game and to keep working hard," Pochettino said.

"We are very young, the youngest squad in the Premier League, and you need to show your strengths throughout the league.

"But to speak about the title - it's more important to keep working hard and showing our maturity."

Pochettino has been consistent in his selection and system this season but he deployed an unfamiliar 3-4-2-1 formation to combat Watford's in-form strikers Troy Deeney and Ighalo.

Eric Dier dropped into a back three and while he was unable to stop Ighalo scoring his 14th goal of the season, Pochettino was pleased with the tactical switch.

"We always play with Eric as a holding midfielder but the way that they play and what we analysed, we found that they play a lot of long balls to make it dangerous for the opponent," Pochettino said.

"So it was a good solution to give calm to the team and manage the game from the back.

"I was only a little bit disappointed with the way that we conceded the goal. At 1-0 up we should have killed the game and scored more goals."

The one disappointment for Spurs saw Mousa Dembele taken off before half-time at Vicarage Road.

Dembele was struggling with an ankle injury ahead of the game and Pochettino admits the Belgian may now face time on the sidelines.

"We need to wait and assess him sometime tomorrow," Pochettino added.

"We hope it's not too bad. Maybe one week, two weeks."

Watford: Gomes; Anya, Cathcart, Britos (Prodl 60), Ake; Watson, Capoue; Jurado (Nyom 68), Abdi (Behrami 45), Deeney; Ighalo

Subs not used: Arlauskis, Guedioura, Holebas, Diamanti

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippie, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Carroll (Son Heung-min 68), Dier; Dembele (Eriksen 45) Lamela, Alli (Chadli 81); Kane

Subs not used: Vorm, Walker, Davies, Mason

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Man of the Match: Kieran Trippier

Match rating: 6/10

Attendance: 20,730

Belfast Telegraph

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