Spurs must ‘play like lions’, says boss


Spurs are still competing for the league, Europa League and FA Cup this season

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has urged his team to “play like lions” at Manchester City on Sunday.

Spurs have not won the title since 1961, but are now second in the table, five points behind leaders Leicester.

They beat City 4-1 at White Hart Lane in September and victory at Etihad Stadium would take them four points clear of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

“This is our challenge, to try to keep the same intensity in every game,” Pochettino said.

Spurs have lost only three times in the league this season and last week’s home win against Watford was their sixth successive victory in all competitions.

Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores described Tottenham as “like animals” and Pochettino was happy to extend the analogy.

“I want them to play like lions – this is what all managers want and expect from their players, to feel and play,” said the Argentine, who took charge of the Lilywhites in May 2014.

Before Spurs face City on Sunday, there is another vital fixture between Leicester and third-placed Arsenal, who trail their north London rivals only on goal difference.

However, Pochettino does not believe Sunday’s results will be decisive in the title race.

“It is true we have a different plan,” the 43-year-old said.

“I think Leicester’s is different to Tottenham’s and both can work. For us it is a very important game against Man City but nothing will change.

“The result will not change the future, the final position of the table. It is an important game but it is not decisive.”

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