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English Premiership

Pochettino cautious about title talk

 Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the English Premier League match against Watford on December 28, 2015

Tottenham Hotspur’s head coach Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the English Premier League match against Watford on December 28, 2015

WATFORD, December 29 – Mauricio Pochettino urged his Tottenham stars to keep their feet on the ground as they head into 2016 firmly in the Premier League title race.

Pochettino’s side move into the new year primed to not just battle for a Champions League place but also vie for the domestic crown.

Not since 1961 have Tottenham won the league but their gritty 2-1 win over 10-man Watford on Monday was another clear indication this could yet be their year in this topsy-turvy Premier League.

They lie in third place but, while Pochettino knows silverware is for the taking, the Tottenham manager refuses to get distracted by talk of a title charge.

“I think that the numbers reflect that it (title push) is possible but the only important thing for us is to try to keep inside our thoughts, try to win every game and keep working hard,” Pochettino said.

“We are very young and you need to show your strengths in all the league. We have the youngest squad in the Premier League. But to speak about the title, it’s more important to keep working hard and showing our maturity.

“The most important thing is that we have smart players who are always looking to improve. We must be proud of our players. We have the youngest squad in the Premier League.

“It’s very important to keep our feet on the ground. This is the key in football. We have to keep working hard and behave in the same way that we started in the league six months ago.

“But we have to continue showing this maturity. We showed how to fight and we got a reaction so we must be proud of our players.”

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Tottenham continued their march to the top thanks to substitute South Korea forward Son Heung-min’s 89th minute winner.

The visitors had led via Erik Lamela before Watford striker Odion Ighalo struck in the first-half for his sixth goal in as many games.

Watford saw Nathan Ake red-carded for a high challenge on Lamela before Son won it right at the end.

Hornets manager Quique Sanchez Flores said: “I’m proud of my players as they fight a lot and have a big soul and amazing spirit. They play for the fans against a very tough team.

“The feeling for us is sad as we are close to a point but proud of my players. They tried to solve every situation.

“I support Nathan as he’s a fair player who plays in a good way. These kind of players need love.

“He went for the ball and it’s football. He doesn’t need to apologise. We move on and it’s been a fantastic start for us.

“Nobody would have expected us to be in this position heading into the new year.

“I’m very proud and must continue showing this amazing spirit. Teams show us great respect which is a measure of our progress.”

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