Tottenham are 'ready' to catch Chelsea in title race, says Mauricio Pochettino after Crystal Palace win

Matt Law
Mauricio Pochettino salutes the Spurs supporters after Wednesday's win - Getty Images Europe

Mauricio Pochettino declared that his Tottenham Hotspur team are “ready” to win the Premier League title after watching them cut Chelsea’s lead back down to four points.

A late Christian Eriksen goal proved to be enough to beat Crystal Palace, just 24 hours after Tottenham had watched Chelsea pull seven points clear.

Chelsea’s victory over Southampton and their FA Cup semi-final win against Spurs had piled the pressure on Pochettino’s side, and the Argentine was delighted by their response and an eighth successive Premier League victory.

“The team are now showing we are ready,” said Pochettino. “We are ready this season to fight and, next season, we'll be even better.

“We are showing that we learned a lot from last season as a team. That is so important because last season was a big challenge. To improve on that season, that was difficult. Last season, the team were fantastic, playing well, and it was a massive challenge to improve again.

Christian Erikse is mobbed after scoring the winner

“It was important for us, that victory in a very tough game against a team who were in very good form. We showed great character, personality after a very disappointing weekend.

“I'm very pleased with my players, a big effort. We played much better in the second half after changing something at half-time. We'd found it hard to move the ball quickly and find the space to move forward and create chances. But, after 97 minutes, we fully deserved the win.”

Pochettino insisted he was not worrying about Chelsea’s advantage during the game by adding: “You are playing, not thinking about the gap or what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. From our position, you're trying to help the team. As the game finishes, you start to see all (the picture), but the trust and belief and confidence was good.

“Now we have reduced the gap again to four points, but every victory is not to send a message to Chelsea. After every victory, the most important thing for us is you build your confidence, trust and belief. It's more for us than to send a message to our opponents. That for me is good. It's about building confidence, your faith that you can win. Then to fight on the pitch. It's not mind games. It's about building a strong belief, a winning mentality.”

Crystal Palace vs Spurs shots on goal

Tottenham host Arsenal next in the Premier League on Sunday and remain on course to finish the season above their North London rivals for the first time for over 20 years.

Midfielder Mousa Dembele will require a fitness test ahead of the Arsenal clash after twisting his ankle at Selhurst Park. “We know what Arsenal means, this game,” said Pochettino.

“But we are not thinking about being above Arsenal. Our challenge now is to try and reduce the gap to Chelsea again and think about bigger things than only to be above Arsenal. For one day, to win big trophies and achieve big things, your mentality must be bigger. You must think about bigger dreams. Big dreams. It's important to have them.”

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce revealed Mamadou Sakho was forced off with a knee ligament injury, saying: “Which ligament we don't know. We hope it's not the cruciate. It could be medial or lateral, but certainly a hyperextension of the knee. We will see after a scan. We may have to rely on Damien (Delaney) and Martin (Kelly) for the remaining games.”

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