Pochettino hopes lack of midweek fixtures will help close gap at the top

The Argentine believes that having more time to prepare will help his team “fight” for the title.

Pochettino hopes lack of midweek fixtures will help close gap at the top
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino (source: Sky Sports)

After a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, Tottenham Hotspur now sit seven points adrift of leaders Leicester City with six games to go.

Yet, manager Mauricio Pochettino is not giving up hope yet, hinting that his team’s exit from the Europa League will play its part in hunting down the Foxes.

Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League in the round of 32 after they lost 5-1 to German side Borrussia Dortmund. Pochettino angered fans after playing a weakened side in the first leg

Top scorer Harry Kane was left on the bench alongside regular first team starters Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele, while 18-year-old Joshua Onomah started the game. Subsequently the Lilywhites suffered a 3-0 thrashing. In the return leg Tottenham played a slightly stronger side with Lamela, previously suspended Dele Alli and Eric Dier all starting. The second leg was more evenly matched but BVB still triumphed with a 1-2 victory.

Preperation could be key 

Now with only the Premier League still to fight for, Pochettino stressed the importance of recovery and preparation periods in between games commenting to Tottenham’s official website, “In football, you always need to be ready for the next game” before adding, “Now we have a few days to recover and try to prepare for United.”

The Argentine further labelled international weeks as “difficult” due to “90 per cent of the players [being] away” meaning that the team “only really had one day to prepare for Liverpool”.

His words were echoed by striker Harry Kane, who broke the record for most goals scored in a season by a Tottenham player with his equaliser at Anfield. Kane commented, “We haven’t had many clear weeks this season!” adding that “It will be nice to have a bit of recovery time” before “[working] hard to try and get three points against United”.

Herrera with praise for Tottenham

Meanwhile Tottenham’s next opponents have been paying close attention to the North London club. Midfielder Ander Herrera admitted to watching Tottenham’s game against Liverpool adding that he believes they “deserved to win” after “[controlling] the second-half almost fully”. His team beat Tottenham on the opening day of the season thanks to a Kyle Walker own goal. They have also clocked up wins against Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester, with Herrera adding that his team “perform better” against top teams.

Tottenham’s run of games is not easy as they still have Stoke, Chelsea and Newcastle to play away from home, while they will host West Brom and Southampton after playing Manchester United on Sunday. Yet there is debate around whether Leicester’s is harder. They still have to travel to relegation threatened Sunderland, Manchester United and holders Chelsea, while hosting an on form West Ham team, Swansea and Everton. A rollercoaster of a season could still produce a handful of turns and swerves for both teams as the title race continues to thicken.