By Will Butcher
Alan Smith has made the unexpected prediction that Tottenham still have a chance of catching Premier League leaders Chelsea this season despite being well adrift in the title race.
Spurs reduced the gap to 10 points on Sunday by holding on to a narrow 2-1 win against Southampton at White Hart Lane, thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.
Speaking on Sky Sports News’ Premier League Daily Show on Monday morning, former Arsenal striker Smith claimed that Spurs must win every remaining match if they are to claw back Chelsea.
Smith, 54, believes that if Mauricio Pochettino’s side can reduce the gap to five points, then they may begin to affect Chelsea’s results as the Blues would begin to look over their shoulder.
“Pochettino has got them so well drilled,” Smith said. “The players can turn a difficult situation into an easy one, there is a big dependency on Kane, but they can still get by without him.
“When he was out before they still beat Man City, at White Hart Lane they have belief. They have to keep winning if they want to challenge Chelsea, they need to win every game.
“There’s no pressure on Antonio Conte’s side, if they can reduce the deficit to five points then Chelsea could start to worry and Spurs may profit.”
Despite the loss of top scorer Harry Kane to injury, Spurs secured their 17th league win of the season as Eriksen fired home from long range and Alli converted from the penalty spot.
Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse pulled one back for Southampton, but Spurs held on to claim victory and match Chelsea after Antonio Conte’s side beat Stoke 2-1 on Saturday.
The difference at the top of the table remains at a huge 10 points, but Chelsea have to face the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Everton in their final 10 league outings.
However, Spurs must also go up against Jose Mourinho’s United and north London rivals Arsenal in their final 10 games, as Pochettino looks clings on to any remaining hopes.