London - Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his Tottenham
Hotspur players to demonstrate their growing maturity when they face West Brom
on Saturday in the wake of their impressive victory over Premier League leaders
Pochettino's side ended Chelsea's run of 13 successive
league victories by extending their own winning run to six games and moving up
to third place, seven points adrift of the leaders.
Last weekend's FA Cup victory over Aston Villa ensured they
maintained the current momentum, but Pochettino knows the true test of his
side's credentials as title challengers will be to build on the Chelsea win.
Earlier this season, Spurs followed the impressive 2-0
defeat of Manchester City with a run of four league games without a win and
Pochettino warned there can be no repeat.
"The Chelsea win was important, but remember a few
months ago after City?" said the Spurs manager.
"I think now is a moment to show that we've learned. We
have in front of us a very tough game and we need to show that we learned about
a few months ago.
"If you remember, our performances dropped a little bit
after a fantastic victory.
"Now after Chelsea it's a great opportunity to show
that we deserve it and to keep the momentum for us will be key."
The Argentinian -- whose side had a disappointing Champions
League campaign failing to go through to the knockout stages -- said he felt
his players had added another string to their bow this term.
"I was very pleased after Chelsea because it wasn't our
best game but we competed and maybe we missed that a little bit last season --
to compete better in some games," he said.
Also read: Spurs showed heart of champions - Pochettino
"Today it's about maturity, it's about learning, about
"It doesn't mean that we will win every game but it's
important to show that maturity that we showed against Chelsea."
- 'He's Superman' -
Dele Alli has been one of the stand-out figures during Spurs
recent run with the England midfielder scoring seven goals in his last four
Alli has attracted the attention of Real Madrid and French
champions Paris Saint Germain -- one of the Spurs manager's former sides when
he was a player -- but Pochettino insists the 20-year-old is happy where he is.
"He is happy, he is performing well and that is the
most important thing," said the 44-year-old former international defender.
"He is performing well, scoring a lot of goals and
helping the team achieve their objectives.
"People have been talking about him a lot in the last
few weeks and that is fair, because his performances have been fantastic every
time he has played."
West Brom hope to have full-back Allan Nyom available to
face Tottenham but they have spent the week attempting to obtain permission
from the Cameroon FA for the former Watford defender to play.
Nyom asked not to be included in his country's squad for the
Africa Cup of Nations and, after flying to Paris to meet the national team and
state his case, he was omitted from the final 23-man squad.
However, West Brom still want written permission from
Cameroon to use Nyom in club games during the tournament to avoid risking
action from FIFA.
"We've got this Nyom situation going on with Cameroon
which is just an unbelievable situation," said manager Tony Pulis.
"I don't think I've ever experienced it before in my
West Brom's Northern Irish international defender Gareth
McAuley will make his 200th appearance for the club at the age of 37.
"He's superman," said Pulis.For
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