Pochettino is Spurs' future, ex-skipper King tells Richard Buxton
Even if title tilt fails, former Spurs captain King backs Pochettino for future success
STOKE CITY v TOTTENHAM
(Tomorrow, 3am, Singtel TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)
Never before has Tottenham's Latin motto, which dictates that "To dare is to do", been more appropriate.
Catching Leicester City at the English Premier League's summit has become a mission that Mauricio Pochettino's side simply refuse to give up on - even with an eight-point gulf to bridge.
But that threatens to soon be taken out of their hands before their remaining five must-win games of the campaign even kick off.
In the ongoing battle of narrative versus nurture, Spurs will again be tasked with hunting the Foxes.
Playing over 24 hours after Claudio Ranieri's side drew 2-2 with West Ham yesterday, everything will boil down their trip to Stoke City tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Win at the Britannia Stadium, and the battle to steal the title from Leicester remains alive.
Anything else will see them effectively gift-wrap the trophy for the unlikely champions-elect.
"We'll know a lot more after this weekend," former Spurs captain Ledley King told The New Paper in an exclusive interview earlier in the week.
CLOSE THE GAP
"I think that if the gap can close this weekend, then the hope will be there again.
"If it doesn't after this weekend, it will be very difficult to catch Leicester.
I would probably say this is the last weekend to put a dent (in Leicester's bid) and close the gap.
"But, regardless of that, I think it's been a fantastic season and the players will have learnt a lot from this.
"They will have that know-how of what it takes to be performing right until the end of the season, trying to win something."
The 35-year-old added: "This team are probably ahead of schedule in terms of where they are right now.
"The aim was to finish in the top four this season and, (qualify for) the Champions League next season - that would provide a different test and a different challenge.
"Being able to compete in the Champions League and stay within the top four will obviously be a new challenge for the club.
"That's what we want and that's where we want to get to - being able to compete on all fronts."
King, who is considered to be arguably the best English defender of his generation, is better placed than most to assess Spurs' remarkable title push from close quarters.
As a club ambassador and frequent visitor to their Enfield training complex, he has seen first hand the inner workings of Pochettino's reign.
And the former England defender believes he knows the secret behind the Argentinian's success this season.
"He has a very good work ethic; he loves the game of football and is determined to do well," said King.
A PEOPLE PERSON
"On the other side, he is a people person.
In today's football, it's an important skill to have; to be able to communicate with your players. I think we are seeing a group of players who love playing together and I think that's important.
"When you have that kind of spirit among the manager, the coaching staff and wonderful players, anything is possible, as we've seen with Leicester.
"I think that away from him being a very good manager, he's a very good person - a very good man who is really good at working with young players and getting the best out of them."
King also believes that the current foundations are promising enough to yield a sustained period of success at White Hart Lane.
"It's difficult to say because from season to season it changes. Clubs will spend a lot of money to improve their squads," he said.
"I think the one thing that we have at the moment is a group of players who are familiar with each other, a (good) manager. There's a stability at the moment.
"That is important and I hope that it can be a big difference, because the (other) teams who will be spending money on players will need a bit of time bedding in and getting familiar with their new clubs and a new league.
"The aim is to be competing for the top four each season and, when you do that, you do hopefully give yourself the chance of winning the league.
"I hope and expect Tottenham to be in that group for the next few years."
King will visit Singapore this summer as part of the 15th anniversary celebrations of the country's Tottenham Supporters' Club.
Last summer, he welcomed the Jhala family to White Hart Lane following the tragic death of their 12-year-old daughter Sonia, who was killed by an earthquake while climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah last June.
"It was a very sad situation. They were a great family and very nice people," said King.
"The club did what we could to try and support them.
"I was able to meet them to try and give them something to smile about."
*The Singapore Spurs Supporters Club is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. All Tottenham supporters in Singapore are welcome to join and experience a range of exclusive benefits that bring them even closer to their favourite club. To become a member of Singapore Spurs, visit http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/supporters-club/club-finder/.
BY THE NUMBERS
36 points: Tottenham Hotspur have racked up the most points in the Premier League since Christmas. They have secured 36 points from 16 games, one ahead of league leaders Leicester City who have 35 points from 17 games.