Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele believes the Premier League title is still up for grabs despite Chelsea holding a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

Speaking ahead of Spurs' home encounter against Middlesbrough on 4 February, Dembele said he and his teammates had learned the lessons of last season's failed title challenge.

The north London club missed two chances to overtake eventual champions Leicester City in March last year before a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in May ended their hopes of winning their first league title since 1961.

Dembele told Sky Sports that Spurs can "do something special" if they find themselves in a similar situation again this time around.

"I think if we end up in the same situation, maybe we can do something special compared to last year," the Belgium international said.

"It is difficult to tell, but we have this feeling that we can do something of course.

"I think personally that I and most of us learned from last year. But it's a difficult thing, you need to be in that situation again to see if we have outgrown that.

"There is a very good vibe, there's a difference compared to last year, so yes I think we can do something special in the same situation."

Dembele escaped a serious injury during Tottenham's goalless draw with Sunderland following a heavy challenge from Jack Rodwell and echoed Harry Kane's criticism of referee Lee Mason for failing to protect Spurs players.

Left-back Danny Rose was forced off in the first half at the Stadium of Light following a 50-50 challenge with Billy Jones, while striker Heung-Min Son sustained a shin injury.

"When I saw the images as well, in my opinion the referee was close enough but we have to respect his decision," Dembele said.

"Of course, for me there were a few challenges in the game that I felt could have been more [than a yellow]."