Belfast Telegraph

Why Pochettino is full of confidence for Tottenham's future


Staying positive: Mauricio Pochettino isn’t downbeat
Staying positive: Mauricio Pochettino isn’t downbeat

By Jonathan Veal

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino insists he saw enough in his side's performance against Manchester City to be confident for the future.

Spurs were beaten 3-1 at Wembley on Saturday in a weekend of results that saw City go on and be crowned Premier League champions for a third time.

It was Spurs' first taste of defeat since losing to Pep Guardiola's side in December's reverse fixture, a run of 14 league games, but Pochettino saw the positives.

"After 14 games unbeaten, it was a massive, massive run for us," he said. "We played Liverpool, United, Arsenal, Chelsea and 14 games unbeaten, I think the players deserve full credit.

"We are disappointed but not frustrated or sad because when we increased our level and showed our real quality we showed we can compete against City - the best team in England.

"That is why I am not concerned about the future. Yes, it was 20 minutes where we were really poor, but I am not worried because I think the team competed really well."

Tottenham's focus is now on qualifying for the Champions League, a target they are well placed to achieve.

They lead Chelsea by seven points and can stretch that to 10 with victory at Brighton tonight.

Pochettino said: "Top four is our challenge and target. It is to finish top four and give the club Champions League football next season in our new stadium."

Pochettino has hinted that Toby Alderweireld could be brought out of the cold for the visit to the Amex Stadium.

The Belgian defender has not been involved in any of the last three matchday squads as his future at the club looks increasingly bleak, having not played in the Premier League since October.

"Yes, Toby is going to be involved in the squad and then tomorrow I will decide if he is going to play or not," the boss said.

Captain Hugo Lloris will also keep his place despite goal-costing errors in the last three games, including giving a penalty away against City on Saturday.

The France goalkeeper has received criticism for his recent form, but Pochettino is standing by his man.

"For me, Hugo Lloris is, from the day that we arrived here, improving every season," he said. "For me he is one of the best keepers in the world and for me there's no doubt."

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