MAURICIO POCHETTINO says he will be disappointed if Tottenham fail to win the Premier League title… even if they finish above Arsenal.
Spurs sit 14 points clear of their rivals ahead of Sunday’s north London derby – when victory would ensure they end a season above the Gunners for the first time since 1995.
It has been a painful wait for Tottenham’s fans, who have watched their team miss numerous opportunities to finish above Arsenal.
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Arguably the worst ‘St Totteringham’s Day’ came 12 months ago, when they needed only to beat already-relegated Newcastle on the final day of the last season – only to lose 5-1.
Pochettino, however, maintains his sole focus is solely catching Chelsea, who are four points ahead of Spurs with five games to play.
The Spurs boss said: “I understand but my feeling is now when so close, only four points but it’s massive with only five games to play, I will be very disappointed if we don’t win the title.
“I will start to think of the good things that have happened this season and be realistic to analyse the season but I really don’t think in which position is Arsenal.”
Pochettino added: “My challenge and my aim is not to be above Arsenal.
“My challenge and my aim is to be above 19 teams and be on the top. That is my challenge, my aim, my dream.
“I don’t care what happens with Arsenal, with all my respect. What I care is what happens with us. That’s our big, big challenge at Tottenham.”
For Tottenham’s fans, getting one over their fierce rivals would be particularly sweet, especially as this is likely to be the last time this fixture takes place at White Hart Lane.
Spurs are due to play home games at Wembley next season before moving into their new stadium in August 2018, a move that is set to be confirmed by the end of this week.
Poch said: “Maybe it will be the last derby but we are playing from the beginning of the season as if it’s the last game at White Hart Lane.
“Everyone behaves with an energy that is amazing and you can be sure Sunday is a special game and we will try altogether to win.
“We compete against a very good team like Arsenal. They have fantastic players. But all together we can give our best and try to get three points.”
Danny Rose has begun light training after three months out with a knee injury but the left-back will not be ready to play this weekend.
It means Ben Davies is likely to start again while Mousa Dembele is also struggling to be fit.
The Belgian was taken off at half-time against Crystal Palace on Wednesday with an ankle problem.