Pochettino lays down Tottenham ambition ahead of Arsenal showdown
By Matt Farr
Mauricio Pochettino insists he is looking beyond recording a win over Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Tottenham hosts their north London rivals in a crucial derby encounter, with Spurs looking to maintain the pressure on leaders Chelsea in the Premier League title race.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have fallen five points adrift of a top four finish, and will need a win to retain their hopes of a late surge back into contention.
With a 14-point gap between the two sides in the league standings, Tottenham are firmly on course to finish above Arsenal in the league for the first time in 22 years.
However, Pochettino is not looking to settle for just that, and is determined to fulfil his, and the club’s, Premier League title dream.
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He told the Standard: “I understand [the rivalry] but my feeling is now when we are so close, only four points – but it’s massive with five games to play – I will be very disappointed if we don’t win the title.
“My challenge and my aim is not to be above Arsenal. My challenge and my aim is to be above 19 teams and be on the top. That is my challenge, my aim, my dream.
“I don’t care what happens with Arsenal, with all my respect. What I care is what happens with us. That’s our big, big challenge at Tottenham.”
Tottenham have not won a league title since their triumph in the First Division during the 1960-61 season, but a late rally over the final five matches of the season could end their drought.
The power shift between the two clubs over the course of the season sees Tottenham arguably head into the derby clash on Sunday as favourites.
Tottenham have been in fantastic form in the Premier League of late, winning each of their last eight games. They have the best defensive record in the league, while they are also the second-highest scorers.
But Arsenal have just four wins from their last 10 league outings, and despite back-to-back wins against Middlesbrough and Leicester, face a tough task to snap up all three points on their travels this weekend.
The win against Middlesbrough on April 17 was only their first away win in the league since January 14.
In other Tottenham news, fans have urged Pochettino to recall this player for the derby clash.