Pochettino accepts Tottenham's title bid 'realistically' over


Mauricio Pochettino has accepted that "realistically" Tottenham's hopes of mounting a Premier League title challenge are as good as over.

A run of just one win in their last five league games has seen Spurs fall 18 points off the pace, with Manchester City threatening to run away with the title.

Pochettino's men look as though they will have a fight on their hands to even finish in the top four on current form, as they go into Saturday's clash with Stoke City in sixth place.

And although Pochettino was quick to point out that football is difficult to predict, he highlighted the "massive" gap between them and City more than once.

"Realistically it's so difficult to think that we're going to win [the title]," said the Spurs boss.

"It's true that it's so early and maybe how we struggle now another club are going to struggle too in the future. With football you never know what's going to happen.

"To, as always, be honest, of course the gap is massive. Manchester City are doing a fantastic job from the start of the season.

"Not only us, we are struggling to follow them. They are doing fantastic.

"If we compare us with ourselves in the last few seasons we are so close in a similar situation, perhaps a bit better with us finishing top in our Champions League group, but another club like Manchester City they improve a lot and the gap is massive.

"Today the gap is massive but in football if you believe always you can achieve what you want. The dynamic can change in football, all is possible."

Pochettino also moved to clarify recent comments made by Toby Alderweireld regarding the centre-back's injury status, insisting the Belgian's recovery from a hamstring problem is going according to schedule.

"No, he's doing well," said Pochettino. "I think someone misinterprets him.

"I'm going to clarify the situation. He said 'if it's the case that the injury was worse than it was, with surgery I would maybe spend 14 weeks out'.

"But it wasn't the case, he doesn't need anything more than to work hard and have treatment now from medical staff.

"He's on plan, on time and he's recovering well. We don't need to be worried because we avoid, and he avoids, an injury that could [have] maybe kept him out for a long time."