Pochettino responds to new dig about Tottenham from Conte
By Harry Sykes
Mauricio Pochettino insisted that he does not care what Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has to say about the history of Tottenham.
The Spurs boss hit back at Conte after his title challenging counterpart had a thinly-veiled dig on Tuesday about the north London club’s place in the pecking order of elite clubs.
The Italian suggested there is not the same pressure at Tottenham as at Chelsea as he pointed out the differences in expectations between the two clubs.
But Pochettino has dismissed such claims as having little relevance in the title race and that the only thing that matters is that Spurs are continuing to make Chelsea look over their shoulders.
Conte’s side bounced back from their shock weekend defeat to Crystal Palace with a landmark 2-1 Premier League win against Manchester City on Wednesday night.
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Tottenham ensured that the gap between first and second did not extend beyond seven points by scoring three goals past the 88-minute mark to secure a stunning 3-1 comeback victory at Swansea.
“I don’t care what people say or what people think of the history of the club. This season we are fighting again. We are in a good way,” Pochettino told the BBC Match of the Day programme on Wednesday night in the immediate aftermath of Spurs’ win.
“Today was a difficult game and the team showed big character.
“The most important thing is the badge. When you play for Tottenham it is not about the names, it is about the team. This season we are showing that we are a team.”
Spurs looked set to endured a damaging defeat at the Liberty Stadium only for Dele Alli, Heung-min Son and Christian Eriksen to score late on as the team once again proved they can cope without main striker Harry Kane.
Tottenham have not won the title since 1961, while Chelsea are hot favourites to lift the Premier League trophy for the fifth time of the Roman Abramovich era.
Conte was not afraid to point out the differences between the expectancy at Stamford Bridge and at White Hart Lane.
“I think the difference between Chelsea and Tottenham is this: if you stay in Chelsea and win it’s normal,” said Conte, as quoted by the Telegraph.
“If you stay in Tottenham, if you win it’s great, great, but if you lose… it’s not a disaster, no? Not a disaster.
“Because you find a lot of situations to explain a good season. But, I repeat, in this season, us and Tottenham stay in the same level. Chelsea were underdogs at the start of the season, but now we are top and we want to keep this position.”
Conte’s side have accumulated 72 points from 30 league matches, putting them seven points adrift of Tottenham in second.
In other Tottenham news, the London giants have won the race to sign a 32-goal striker who has taken the league by storm.