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Friday 9 December 2016

Pochettino plays down talk of Spurs being contenders

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane gets a shot past Aaron Cresswell
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane gets a shot past Aaron Cresswell

Mauricio Pochettino insists it is too early to talk about Tottenham as title contenders despite an emphatic 4-1 win over West Ham.

Two goals from Harry Kane (pictured) and one each from Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker helped extend Spurs' unbeaten run to 12 league matches, which equals a club record. Manuel Lanzini scored a late consolation for the Hammers.

The victory puts Tottenham four points behind surprise table-toppers Leicester, and with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all unconvincing in recent weeks, Pochettino's side seem capable of keeping pace at the top.

"It is early to start talking about that, there is too far until the end of the season," Pochettino said. "We have a young squad, we need to develop our way to be consistent. It is true we have shown from the beginning of the season we are consistent but to win the title we need more. It is step by step. It is difficult to say today what will happen in four or five months. We need to keep working hard and stay with our feet on the ground."

Tottenham were two up at half-time but it could have been more given they missed a number of early chances, including Kane scuffing wide when sent through one-on-one with Adrian.

The striker showed no signs of dwelling on his error, however, driving home a third in the second half - his eighth goal in five games - before Walker added a fourth with a bending effort late on.

Pochettino was even afforded the luxury of taking off Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, with a five-hour Europa League trip to Qarabag to come on Thursday.

"Today was a complete performance from the team. Fantastic, fantastic," Pochettino said. "Maybe yes, one of the best performances of the season. We are very proud of the players, we congratulate them, there are a lot of positive things we can say today.

The one disappointment for Spurs saw Dele Alli pick up a needless yellow card, which means he is suspended for Sunday's clash with Chelsea.

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