MAURICIO POCHETTINO has sensationally claimed Tottenham dropping back into the top-four battle is a “good” thing.
The reason being for the Spurs manager is that it represents his team’s true level and will end the perception they are title contenders.
The sensational admission will shock Tottenham fans, especially given they were directly challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for top spot up until a fortnight ago.
Spurs’ dip in form in domestic football continued today as they lost 2-1 at relegation-threatened Southampton.
The north London side dominated the first-half at St Mary’s as their manager watched on from the stands, with Harry Kane giving them a 1-0 lead at the break.
But goals late in the second half from Yann Valery and James Ward-Prowse turned the game on its head.
It leaves Tottenham with little space between them and the chasing pack of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
United go to Arsenal tomorrow with the two teams just three and four points behind Spurs respectively with a game in hand.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have played two games less and are five points back ahead of tomorrow’s visit from Wolves.
“It’s about arrogance in a bad way”
After today’s defeat at Southampton, Pochettino was clearly frustrated and blasted: “I think it’s good now [that we’re in a battle for the top four] that people are going to realise our real level and stop with the perception.
“I am a little bit worried about the change from the first half to the second is mental.
“It’s about arrogance in a bad way.
“It shows we need more. We need to increase everything if we want to arrive as one of the best clubs in Europe.
“There’s been a lot of talk about being in the last step, winning some trophies. We live in the perception and reality.
“This is the reality. We have two faces.
“I think my reaction is the same as yours and our fans. It’s difficult to understand the second half, the way that we started the second half and the way that we gave the belief to Southampton. I feel so disappointed.”
Despite being through to the Champions League quarter-finals, they could fall too qualify for the competition next season.
And Pochettino, who has been targeted by Real Madrid and Manchester United this term, is running out of patience with his players it seems.
He then added: “Yes, but it’s good. It’s good because a lot of people now are going to realise our real level and maybe start to stop talking about the perception.
“It’s important now to know that we need to fight a lot until the end of the season.
“We are in the Champions League but of course the Champions League can disappear quickly and the Premier League is going to give the access next season to play again if you are in the top four.”