Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Spurs need to "believe" they still can catch Leicester City to win the Premier League after his side secured a confortable 3-0 victory over Bournemouth on Sunday (20 March). The Argentinian boss believes that Spurs can benefit from the Europe League elimination to close the gap at the top with more time to rest and prepare between games.
Spurs responded to the Thursday's defeat against Borussia Dortmund with a solid performance against Bournemouth to cut Leicester's lead at the top of the Premier League to five points with seven games to go. Pochettino is aware that the gap is still big but believes that Spurs can catch the Foxes now that they have a less busy fixture list.
"We have hit a different period, from the beginning of the season. After the international break we will have one game every week and we will have time to prepare training and improve to do a lot of things which were impossible to do before," Pochettino said to BBC after beating Bournemouth.
"The gap that Leicester have over us and Arsenal and Manchester City, we need to reduce. They have a good advantage but we need to believe."
Harry Kane netted the opening goal after just 44 seconds before scoring another in the 15th minute of the game to move ahead of Jamie Vardy as the Premier League top scorer with 21 goals. Christian Eriksen then got a third goal to kill the game off.
Pochettino didn't hesitate to name the England international as "one of the best strikers in the world" while hailing the team performance as "one of the best" of the campaign.
"It was a good day at the office. One week ago in Germany we had a bad day but we were good from the beginning today and I'm very happy with the collective performance," he said. "It was very important to score early in the game, then we had to show a strong mentality to manage the game. We created a lot of chances and it was very important to win 3-0 and get a clean sheet. Today was one of the best performances of the season.
"The international break has not come at a bad time. It gives us time to relax and analyse. Ninety percent of the squad is with the national team. We have seven games ahead and when the players come back from the national teams, we hope it is with a good spirit."