Spurs striker Harry Kane thinks Southampton win sends out the right message
Harry Kane believes Tottenham sent out a resounding message about their title credentials after their 4-1 thrashing of 10-man Southampton.
Spurs' victory at St Mary's means they moved to within a point of fourth-placed Arsenal and have now won five out of their last six games in all competitions.
It is an impressive run of form for Mauricio Pochettino's men, particularly given Southampton had previously lost only once, to Chelsea, in 14 matches at home this season.
Tottenham also had ground to make up after rivals Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all won on Boxing Day.
"There was pressure on us to win and it's a difficult place to come," Kane told Tottenham's official club website.
"Southampton are a great side and they've kept a few clean sheets here - so to come here and win 4-1 is a great message to send out to everyone."
Spurs were behind inside two minutes to Virgil van Dijk's header but Dele Alli's double, as well as goals from Kane and Son Heung-min sealed an emphatic victory.
Nathan Redmond was sent off at 2-1 in the second half and Kane missed the subsequent penalty, but it made no difference as Alli and Son scored twice late on to seal all three points.
"It was disappointing because we all said that Southampton like to start fast here and they did that," Kane said.
"They came out of the blocks and I don't think we'd touched the ball before we picked it out of the net.
"That was disappointing but we showed real character, it was a great finish from Dele to get us back in the game and in the second half we really kicked on, got the second goal early and finished the job off."
Victor Wanyama was making his first return to the south coast since joining Tottenham last summer and the home fans made clear their dissatisfaction by booing the Kenyan when he received the ball.
Wanyama started slowly, giving away the free-kick that led to Van Dijk's opener, but he settled into the game and could even have scored before half-time had his finish not been blocked by Jose Fonte.
"It was a bit emotional for me today," Wanyama said.
"It was a little bit difficult but as the game went on I was confident. It's even more difficult (when receiving a mixed reception) but for me, the fans in the stands don't get into my head.
"I am focused on the players on the pitch and on doing my job and today I think we played well as a team. I'm really glad that we came here to a tough place and took maximum points."