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Mauricio Pochettino praises Tottenham players after bounceback win over Cardiff

Mauricio Pochettino praises Tottenham players after bounceback win over Cardiff
© Reuters
Spurs moved back up to second place ahead of the Manchester City-Liverpool game on Thursday.

Mauricio Pochettino praised his Tottenham players after an "important" 3-0 win at Cardiff banished the memories of Saturday's shock home defeat to Wolves.

Spurs moved back into second place and, to within six points of Premier League leaders Liverpool, as first-half goals from Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min rewarded their superiority over Neil Warnock's Bluebirds.

"I think it was so important (to win) and build another positive run," Pochettino said.

"It was so important for our confidence, because in three days we are going to start another competition, the FA Cup.

"Then we are going to play the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

"It was so important to start the new year with a victory, away from home in a very difficult place, against a team like Cardiff who came from beating Leicester.

"They came with massive confidence in the way they played the last game and it was a massive victory for us.

"It is three points that make us believe a little bit more in our possibility to be in a very good position in the table."

Tottenham can now relax with a watching brief as third-placed Manchester City and Liverpool meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night – a game where Pochettino says he will be in a "neutral position".

And the Spurs boss said he was delighted with the way his players handled their fourth league game in 10 days.

"Us and Everton, we were the two teams who suffered the most difficult fixtures in that period," Pochettino said after Spurs had returned a nine-point haul from their four festive games.

"So, of course, I congratulate the players because the effort was fantastic.

"I was very pleased with the performance and we were so clinical from the beginning.

"To be 3-0 up after 20 minutes was fantastic for us and then we dominated the game."

Cardiff remain three points above the relegation zone, with heavy home defeats against Manchester United and Tottenham bookending the four points picked up in away games at Crystal Palace and Leicester.

Boss Warnock was dismayed that no action was taken against Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko for a first-half challenge, and he was just as unhappy with the sloppy nature of Cardiff's early play.

"I don't think it was a game too far, I just thought we shot ourselves in the foot," Warnock said.

"Man United, it was two-and-a-half minutes, today one-and-a-half minutes.

"You can't give quality players like that a lift.

"We wanted to put them under pressure after their (Wolves) result and really it was a stroll.

"I was pleased we didn't just fold in the second half.

"We had to play for pride and, all credit to them, they battled well in the second half when it would have been easy to roll over."


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Harry Kane celebrates scoring for Tottenham Hotspur against Cardiff City on January 1, 2019.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal34206868432566
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd34197863481564
7Watford35148135050050
8Everton35147145044649
9Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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