X

Thursday 21
March

Tottenham Hotspur

Pochettino knows Burnley clash vital

23rd February 2019, 08:54 by Nick Harris

Mauricio Pochettino has billed Saturday's clash with Burnley as a "final" in a vital week in terms of the Premier League title race.

Spurs could have been playing in an actual final this weekend had they beaten Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final, but instead their lunchtime fixture at Turf Moor allows them the chance to ramp up the pressure at the top of the table.

With leaders Manchester City taking on Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea side at Wembley, and therefore not in league action, and second-placed Liverpool heading to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, Spurs could cut the gap on those two to just two points.

Indeed, if Spurs win and Liverpool lose at Old Trafford, winning the title would be in their own hands, with visits to Anfield and the Etihad Stadium to come in the run-in.

Pochettino has a sense that this could be a defining weekend in the title race.

"It could be a massive weekend," he said. "The football this weekend is like a final for us at Burnley.

"It's going to be key in the future of the competition, the Premier League. It's a massive three points.

"We feel that and hope that we can translate that to the players during the whole week that we've been working that idea that the most important game is Saturday.

"If we're going to (be) capable to win the three points, to see us close to them (Liverpool and Man City), things will happen in different games but whether we get close to them or keep the distance, we'll see what happens with the top four too.

"That's why it's a massive three points for us. That's why it's no point of thinking of anything else."

With games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in the space of six days following the visit to the Clarets, it would be easy for focus to lie elsewhere, but Pochettino reckons his side will have regrets if they do not perform to their best.

"We know that people are talking about Chelsea, Arsenal and Dortmund but for us the focus was to translate the idea that Burnley is going to be tough," he added.

"If we are capable of being focused and winning against Burnley, then we are going to see in a different way the next few games but if not, it's going to be tough.

"For Burnley I need to be more motivated and with more energy than in other games. We need to believe that the three points against Burnley will be decisive.

"If we don't think this way and we go to Burnley thinking, 'OK, the important game is Chelsea or Arsenal', then we are going to struggle.

"And then we are going to regret it. Saturday is the most important game in the period we have ahead.

"And it is going to be easy to motivate them. This game, after 10 days in which we didn't compete, to be focused is the most important thing."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

More Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Bees ace to cost £30m

21st March 2019, 03:45

Tottenham have been told they will have to spend big if they wish to sign Brentford winger Said Benrahma.

Tottenham Hotspur

Alderweireld fuels Spurs exit talk

20th March 2019, 08:18

Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld admits he might not return to the club next season but doesn't want to look too far ahead.

Tottenham Hotspur

Trippier aims to bounce back for Spurs and England

20th March 2019, 03:36

Tottenham and England star Kieran Trippier admits he could have done a lot better this season but hopes to finish on a high.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs boss looks for Barca final

19th March 2019, 11:21

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino admits he would love to play Barcelona in the Champions League final.

Tottenham Hotspur

Juventus target Spurs star

19th March 2019, 03:28

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen is a man in demand with reports claiming Juventus have joined the race to sign him.

Tottenham Hotspur

Pochettino happy at Tottenham

18th March 2019, 18:54

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino claims he is happy at the club but he admits he does not think "very long term" over his future.

Recent Sport Headlines

France

Rabiot still long way off national team

21st March 2019, 14:12

PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot is nowhere near close to a return to the France set-up, according to French Football chief Noel Le Graet.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Coady lavishes praise on Nuno

21st March 2019, 13:41

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo deserves huge credit for the work he done since taking over, captain Conor Coady has stressed.

Swansea City

Grimes praises Celina attitude

21st March 2019, 13:30

Swansea’s Matt Grimes has praised the mental strength of team-mate Bersant Celina.

Newcastle United

Magpies to send Kenedy back

21st March 2019, 13:28

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez will not take up the option to make Kenedy's loan move permanent, reports claim.

Match Previews

England v Czech Republic

21st March 2019, 13:27

England kick off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign on Friday when they welcome the Czech Republic to Wembley.

Leicester City

Leicester manager praises defender Evans

21st March 2019, 13:25

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes Jonny Evans would still be on the books at Manchester United were it not for injuries.

Bournemouth

I've earned England place - Wilson

21st March 2019, 13:10

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson says he more than deserves his place in the current England squad.

Formula 1

Alfa Romeo bring in teen driver Correa

21st March 2019, 13:09

Formula 2 racer Juan Manuel Correa has been brought in as Alfa Romeo's development driver for the 2019 season.