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Sunday 28 May 2017

Tottenham eyes on 'bigger things' than the Gunners

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata

Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham have their eyes on "bigger things" this season than just finishing above Arsenal.

Spurs have not ended a campaign higher than their north London rivals since 1995 but look certain to end that barren run this year.

They currently sit 14 points clear of the Gunners, albeit having played a game more, while Arsene Wenger's men have won only one of their last five league matches.

Tottenham have not been this far ahead of Arsenal in the table since May 1963 but manager Pochettino insists he is more concerned about catching Premier League leaders Chelsea.

"I think we're playing and fighting for bigger things," Pochettino said.

"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 do our job, try to win games and try to reduce the gap with Chelsea."

Tottenham host Bournemouth tomorrow in the weekend's early kick-off when they have the chance to cut Chelsea's lead to four points, before the Blues face a tricky trip to Manchester United on Sunday.

Pochettino's cause will be boosted by the return to fitness of Harry Kane, who came off the bench against Watford last weekend and is likely to make his first start in almost five weeks at White Hart Lane.

Kane, who was also nominated for the men's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award on Thursday, has 24 goals in all competitions and Pochettino says his star striker can still reach 30 by the end of the season.

"Harry is a player with a character and personality that believes in all. He's a person that never settles on limits," Pochettino said.

"All is possible, there are a lot of games to play to the end of the season. He's now fit again, available to play and he's in a very good condition.

"He's very fresh in his body and his mind and he's very hungry to score again."

Tottenham are likely again to be on the look-out for better back-up for Kane this summer but Pochettino dismissed suggestions that Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata could be a target.

Morata said this week that he spoke to Pochettino about a move last summer, when he was still on loan at Juventus and his future remained unclear.

Pochettino said: "It is a special thing because I know Morata from when I started my (managerial) career at Espanyol. "The reality is that he sent a text to me when I was manager at Espanyol, he contacted me for some advice and then we kept the relationship.

"He is a great kid and a very good player but it is not realistic to think Morata (will play) for us because it is one thing to maintain a good relationship between him and me but another to think about bringing him here. There is no sense to it."

Victor Wanyama is available again after overcoming a back complaint but Erik Lamela and Harry Winks are out with hip and ankle injuries respectively.

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