Tottenham thrilled to be best in London for first time in 23 years

Mauricio Pochettino: ‘The next thing is to win a trophy. But you need to build’

 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino watches his team beat Newcastle on Wednesday night. Photograph: Reuters

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino watches his team beat Newcastle on Wednesday night. Photograph: Reuters

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is basking in the glory of being top dogs in London for the first time in 23 years after his side sealed Champions League qualification.

A 1-0 win over Newcastle, thanks to Harry Kane’s 28th Premier League goal of the season, was enough to ensure a third successive year in the top four after Chelsea could only draw with Huddersfield.

That means Spurs are looking down on the rest of the capital clubs for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

It has been a particularly impressive achievement this year, considering Tottenham have effectively played a full campaign on the road, with their home fixtures being held at Wembley, while other clubs around them have spent considerably more.

Pochettino knows his side will still be judged for a lack of trophies, but says his side are in a process and finishing top of the tree in London is a big tick.

“The first step is always to be competitive, reduce the gap with the top four, that was the challenge four years ago,” he said.

“Now after 23 years in the Premier League Tottenham are above all the London clubs.

“The next thing is to win a trophy. But you need to build. We are not in a club that wins a lot in last years.

“To create a winning mentality is to build step by step and then to be competitive with the big sides.”

Newcastle had little to play for but gave Tottenham a fright and had enough chances to take something from the game.

Jonjo Shelvey hit the post from a free-kick, Jamaal Lascelles and Dwight Gayle forced good saves from Hugo Lloris while Jacob Murphy blazed over.

United midfielder Matt Ritchie told the club’s official website: “On another day, we’d take our chances and go 1-0 or 2-0 up. But there are a lot of positives, and now we need to continue and take those positives into the last game of the season.

“We always believe we can create chances.

“I think the desire we showed to defend our box and put pressure on them was really good, and hopefully we can continue that into the last game of the season, because we want to win it.”

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