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Pochettino: Spurs Finishing Above Arsenal Not Important, Alli Deserves PFA Award Nomination 

Pochettino: Spurs Finishing Above Arsenal Not Important, Alli Deserves PFA Award Nomination 

Mauricio Pochettino has claimed Tottenham are targeting “bigger things” than finishing above Arsenal this season, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

 

Spurs have never finished higher than than North London rivals during the Arsene Wenger era – the last time it happened was back in 1994-95. 

 

But the White Hart Lane club, who are now second in the table with 68 points from 31 matches, have not been 14 points clear of Arsenal since May 1963.

 

Tottenham host Bournemouth on Saturday as they aim to cut Chelsea's seven-point lead at the top of the table and then face the Stamford Bridge club in the FA Cup semis next weekend.

 

Asked at his Thursday's press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League home clash with Bournemouth if he was confident about finally finishing above Arsenal, Pochettino said: 

“I am confident about winning on Saturday. I think we’re playing and fighting for bigger things and if we look at the bigger picture it’s to try to reduce the gap with Chelsea.

 

"I think today it’s not important the gap we have with Arsenal. The most important thing is to job our job, try to win games and try to reduce the gap with Chelsea."

 

The Argentine highlighted the need for his team to remain focused and not allow the collapse of the previous season which saw them lose their title grip to be repeated.

 

“It’s true that all can happen in football but you must keep that mentality we have been showing and show we’ve improved a lot from last season," he added. "It’s a big opportunity because we arrive in a similar position to last season, fighting for the Premier League with a similar gap too.

 

"Now it’s about trying to cross that limit, push ourselves a little bit more and trying to go further than last season.”

 

Pochettino also expressed shock at Dele Alli's exclusion from the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) main award shortlist released on Thursday.

 

Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, N'Golo Kante, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku and Alli's teammate, Harry Kane, made the cut.

 

"There are better players now and it's a better standard. In my opinion he deserved a place in the shortlist because he is showing a great performance every week, every game.

 

"He has improved a lot since last season, he is showing better stats. In my opinion, he deserves it. He has shown he is one of the best players in the Premier League.

 

"After his first season people wanted to him perform again in his second season. He's not only confirmed that he's improved in all aspects in his game.

 

"He's clever and intelligent. He has the potential to improve and learn. Today he's shown he's one of the best players in the Premier League."

 

On injury news, Spurs’ official Twitter account confirmed the news on Thursday of the availability of midfielder Victor Wanyama and the duo of Danny Rose and goalkeeper Michel Vorm against Eddie Howe’s team, Bournemouth. 

 

"Midfielder Victor Wanyama trained with the squad this week and is available for selection after his back problem.

 

The swelling of keeper Michel Vorm's knee is settling and continues to be assessed. 

 

"Danny Rose is progressing well with his rehabilitation following a knee injury and is expected to start outdoor work next week."

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