Football

Pochettino: Cup loss has 
no impact on title race

Spurs boss refutes suggestions that his club are the nearly men of English football

Tottenham's 4-2 defeat by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley yesterday morning (Singapore time) was their seventh successive loss in the last four of the famous competition since 1995.

It is the worst run of losses at this stage and means they have not reached the final since 1991.

Manager manager Mauricio Pochettino ejected the notion that Spurs are becoming the nearly men of English football.

"It's my first semi-final in the Cup, I can't change the past," he told the London Evening Standard when reminded of Tottenham's poor record in semi-finals which includes a 5-1 defeat by Chelsea in 2012.

"The past is the past. We need to build the present to have a better future.

"If you are a Spurs supporter, you feel very disappointed. But I think the fans know the project.

"I feel proud because to fight in that level against Chelsea is fantastic.

"Two years ago, it was difficult to arrive in that level.

"Now it's a reality. Now we have to be clever and build the team for the next years."

Pochettino will now switch his focus to the EPL game against Crystal Palace on Thrusday morning when Spurs will be chasing an eighth successive league victory to keep the heat on Chelsea, who have a four-point lead over their rivals.

The Argentinian said that the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea will not have an impact on the Premier League title race and he is adamant his players will be able to pick themselves up for the trip to Selhurst Park.

"It's not important - we will move on," Pochettino said of the possibility his side had suffered a psychological blow.

"The players are disappointed but, tomorrow, we will work again on the training ground and focus on the next game and the Premier League.

"If we play like we did today, you can't be worried because we gave our best and football didn't pay us what we deserved today.

"But I understand that is football. We played much better than them today, but it's true they were clinical."

Like Pochettino, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas also downplayed the potential impact of his team's FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham on the Premier League title race.

"(We have) six games where we need three points in every single one of them, because I don't believe Spurs will drop too many," Fabregas said.

Spurs striker Harry Kane insisted that he and his teammates will try to win the Premier League title for Under-23 coach Ugo Ehiogu, who who died on Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest at Spurs' training ground on Thursday.

Kane admitted that Tottenham's players had hoped to win the semi-final tie in Ehiogu's honour but, after yesterday morning's defeat, their ambitions would now switch to the Premier League.

"Of course, the last couple of days have been tough," Kane said.

"Ugo was a great character around the training ground, it was just shocking news to be honest.

"Of course, we'll do everything we can to win the league for him - we wanted to win today for him and for ourselves as well.

"There are still six tough games left in the Premier League. We can't control what Chelsea do now.

"We just have to win as many as we can and it starts on Wednesday with a tough game away at Crystal Palace." 
- WIRE SERVICES

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