London (AFP) – Mauricio Pochettino urged Tottenham to keep their focus against relegation-threatened Stoke as they seek to nail down a Champions League place, with Harry Kane in line for a starting spot on Saturday.
The club’s first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990 last weekend left fourth-placed Spurs eight points clear of Antonio Conte’s side.
But Pochettino told reporters on Friday that the visit to Stoke would be tougher than last week’s trip across London.
“Sometimes after a great victory, as human beings, you can start thinking, ‘If we beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, why not win the next games?’ And you can drop a little bit in focus,” he said.
“For me it’s the opposite. Our focus must be 200 percent. For me, Stoke will be a tougher game than it was at Stamford Bridge.
“We’re playing for three points, the same as against Chelsea. Of course, we feel confident, we trust, we work in a very good atmosphere because we beat a very good opponent.”
The Spurs boss said a failure to compete could prove costly.
“That’s why we must be ready to match them with the same motivation and hunger,” he said. “Three points will be massive for them but us too because to finish in the top four is a massive objective for us.”
Kane is in contention to start after his quickfire recovery from an ankle injury, but Harry Winks remains out.
After missing three weeks, England striker Kane returned in the second half of the 3-1 win against Chelsea.
“Harry is OK and after playing nearly 20 minutes against Chelsea this week, has been good, he’s worked hard,” said Pochettino. “We need to see him in one more training session, but he’s doing very well.
“You know him, he’s so determined to help achieve all that the team wants and of course, he’s hungry to score goals.”