Tottenham Hotspur will have to be ready for another tough battle against Huddersfield Town on Saturday after scraping out a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace.
It took until the 88th minute for Spurs to find the first goal at Selhurst Park as Harry Kane once again bailed the team out of trouble. We should have killed the game earlier but profligacy in front of goal and Palace turning up in the second-half made it very difficult for Spurs.
Ahead of the game against Huddersfield, Spurs flexed their muscles with a 6-1 victory over Rochdale in the FA Cup. The victory saw us book a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament, where we will face Swansea City.
As far as Huddersfield are concerned, they are currently three points above the relegation places and will come to Wembley on the back of a 2-1 victory over West Brom.
Pochettino confirmed that Jan Vertonghen has returned to training. But having had ankle difficulties, the defender will not be risked tomorrow.
The Belgian suffered an ankle problem in training last week that forced him to miss the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace and faces a race against time to be fit for the second-leg against Juventus in the Champions League round of 16.
Vertonghen’s compatriot, Toby Alderweireld is once again sidelined with a hamstring injury, less than a month after returning from a similar problem.
The centre-back is surely out for Saturday’s game and our gaffer believes the player won’t be ready to face Juventus next week.
“I don’t believe he can be ready for Juventus. But yes, happy because Jan is back again and maybe he is available for tomorrow to play.”
Asked if he will pick his side tomorrow with one eye on Juventus, Poch replied:
“No, both our eyes are focused on the game against Huddersfield.
“That for us is the most important game. It’s an important three points for the battle for the top four. We cannot think of the game after. We need to be focused and ready to compete because it will be tough. Huddersfield are in a position where they need points too. For us the most important thing is tomorrow.”
Manchester City are certainly winning the Premier League this season and are miles ahead of other teams but Poch feels Spurs and other teams are fighting for the other three places and wants to end the season on a high note.
“Manchester City is in a very good position and so close to winning the title,” our gaffed added.
“We’re in behind and we need to fight a lot with different teams to achieve the top four because it will be so important to next season. It will be a battle to the end and we know very well that we need to be consistent. After our defeat against Manchester City we’re in a run of 16 games unbeaten. That’s what we need to do, be consistent, win games and try to finish in the best condition possible to get one place for the Champions League next season.”
Asked how many more points do Spurs need to get in the top four, the Argentine, who is celebrating his 46th birthday today explained:
“I don’t know. It’s difficult to guess. Every chance you have in the Premier League you have to try to win. Now it’s up to us, because we’re in the top four. We feel and think it’ll be tough because other teams, important clubs, with very good players can fight with us too. But we’re in good form and we need to keep this.”
The last time both Spurs and Huddersfield met, it ended in the former’s favour as Spurs ran riot at John Smith’s Stadium, winning 4-0 in September.
Hoping for something similar from our boys tomorrow!