Pochettino and Spurs prepared for tough race to the line

Lucas Moura’s hat-trick against Huddersfield boosts goal difference for run-in

Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucas Moura scores his side’s fourth goal of the game, completing his hat-trick, during the Premier League match against Huddersfield Town at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Photograph: John Walton/PA Wire

Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucas Moura scores his side’s fourth goal of the game, completing his hat-trick, during the Premier League match against Huddersfield Town at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Photograph: John Walton/PA Wire

 

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to rack up the goals in the 4-0 win against Huddersfield as he believes the race for the top four could come down to goal difference.

Spurs made it three wins from three at their new stadium as they put the already-relegated Terriers to the sword, with Lucas Moura’s hat-trick coming after a Victor Wanyama opener.

It took Pochettino’s men back into third ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon and gave them the edge in a tight battle that also includes Manchester United and Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification places next season.

It is a race that could go down to the wire, so Pochettino is keen to get any advantage he can.

“For sure it’s going to be tough,” he said. “We are fighting against big sides and teams that are building to win the league or to win big trophies or be in the top four.

“We are going to fight against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

“I think until the end it will be a very tough race.

“Of course, to score goals in that opportunity can help in the end. Goal difference can be decisive at the end of the season to achieve the top four.”

Spurs made a host of changes for the visit of Huddersfield ahead of back-to-back games at Manchester City – one in the Champions League followed by a league trip – and Pochettino was pleased to get his squad players a game.

“It’s so important,” he said. “I think to build the confidence in the squad and team.

“It’s true [a] few changes were because of injuries. It’s so important all of our players feel so comfortable, happy and fit with the trust they can compete and be an important part of the team.

“Today players like Juan Foyth, Ben Davies, Davinson [Sanchez], Kyle Walker-Peters, Fernando [Llorente] or Victor Wanyama it’s so important for them to play 90 minutes and feel they can help the team and feel important.

“It makes us stronger. We have a very busy period and it’s important all the players feel they can fight for one place to start in every single game.”

Huddersfield’s return to the Championship is already guaranteed as they lost a 19th game from 21, but boss Jan Siewert was proud of his side’s effort.

“You see that they are,” he said. “Look at the players who came from the bench, they directly had an input – Steve [Mounie] had two good possibilities, and gave everything.

“There were about 3,700 supporters who came here to London today, a big trip for them, and we wanted to give them something.

“We really wanted to be the first team that scores here. We know that it’s not easy to play here, because if you give them space, they can run you ragged, they can do everything with the ball.

“We tried to avoid it, and conceding four goals doesn’t represent the way we played.”

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