Proud Mauricio Pochettino demands consistency from Spurs, as Arsenal win and Everton slump again
LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his players need to be consistent if they are to win the Premier League title after outclassing Cardiff City on Tuesday.
Goals by Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Korean star Son Heung-min inside the opening half hour saw Spurs beat the Welsh side 3-0, leapfrog Manchester City into second spot and go six points behind leaders Liverpool.
City host Liverpool on Thursday but Pochettino was keener to focus on what his team can do to deliver the London club's first league title since 1961.
"I don't want to see the table. Of course we are in a good position," he told Sky Sports.
"We need to be consistent. You must be consistent during the whole season."
Pochettino, who remains the bookmaker's favourite to get the full-time job at Manchester United, said the overall performance of his team had delighted him after Saturday's damaging 3-1 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
"I'm very pleased, the one thing I need to say is we suffered without rest between the games and therefore from the players it was magnificent," said the 46-year-old Argentinian.
"They deserve full credit. It was a very tough period for us."
Pochettino, who despite garnering credit for developing young players is yet to win a trophy in his managerial career, says he will be able to fill the large gap that will be left with Son leaving for Asian Cup duty.
"That is football, we knew it would happen," said Pochettino.
"He will go with his national team but we have players and football is about the squad and surely we will find the solution."
Eriksen said the victory had eased the pressure on Spurs in terms of the title race.
"We put pressure on everyone and took pressure off ourselves. It'll be back on for the next game," the Dane told Sky Sports.
"It felt like we were 18 points behind but we're not far off."
It appears Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah have some company as they vie for the second straight season to be top scorer in the Premier League.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the Bundesliga's leading marksman in his last full season in German soccer — with 31 goals for Borussia Dortmund in the 2016-17 campaign — and he is proving just as prolific in England after reaching 14 this season by scoring Arsenal's fourth in a 4-1 win over Fulham on Tuesday.
The Gabon striker moved to Arsenal in January last year as Arsene Wenger's final signing and has been an unqualified success with 23 league goals in barely 11 months.
Jamie Vardy rescued a dire match with an eye-catching celebration as his goal secured Leicester City a 1-0 win away at Everton in their New Year’s day Premier League fixture on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old showed remarkable agility after scoring in the 58th minute for a result that sees The Foxes move into seventh, seven points adrift of Arsenal who occupy the Europa League fifth-placed spot.
Vardy has been rumored to have strained relations with Leicester manager Claude Puel and was taken off in the defeat by Cardiff last Saturday and said the acrobatic display had not been a spontaneous one.
“I have had it in my locker for a while,” he told Sky Sports.
“I saved it for a special occasion, what better one than New Years Day. New year, new me.”
Hopes that Portuguese manager Marco Silva would lead to a revival and a genuine challenge for European football have foundered of late with four defeats in their last five Premier League matches.
Silva, whose side are 10th, 11 points adrift of Arsenal, admitted their performance fell well short of what he or the fans desired.
“Disappointing result, poor performance to be honest,” he told Sky Sports.
“In this moment we have to be honest and look clear at the game.