Tottenham Hotspur are hanging by a thread in the Premier League title race and face a must win encounter against Chelsea on Monday (2 May) if they are to keep their hopes alive. The north London club are currently eight points behind league leaders Leicester City, who could only manage a draw against Manchester United on Sunday (1 May) as their title celebrations remain on hold.
Mauricio Pochettino is aware that his side face a difficult task in overcoming the Blues at Stamford Bridge, but has revealed that the Chelsea players' taunts against his title chasing side have given them a massive boost in their pursuit of victory over the soon-to-be-deposed reigning champions. Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas have made public statements backing Leicester for the title over their London rivals, and this according to the manager has given his team added motivation to grab all three points and stay alive in the title race.
The west London club are currently in the ninth place following a disappointing start to the season, which saw Jose Mourinho being relieved of his duties. Guus Hiddink has done a marvellous job of taking them on a good run in the league and were unbeaten since December until their loss against Swansea at the start of April. Despite the Blues having an inconsistent season, the Argentine manager is aware that they can show their true quality in a one-off game, especially since it is a London derby.
"The derby is always a big motivation. There's been a lot of speech from them - the team doesn't want us to win the league - but this is another motivation for us to try to win the game," Pochettino said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"We will expect a very tough game but we are ready to fight. Our objective is to go and try to win the three points."
"This season they haven't been consistent like the season before and they're in a position in the middle of the table. But they are a very good team and always in one game they can play well," the Spurs boss explained.
"We all love [derby games]. Our team feels the same. They are fighters and they like to compete," he added.