Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino reduced his side’s title chances after they closed to within four points of the Premier League summit by crushing West Ham United 4-1.
Harry Kane scored twice, his seventh and eighth goals in five games, and defenders Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker were also on point at White Hart Lane on Sunday as Pochettino’s enterprising young team equalled the club record of 12 consecutive Premier League games without defeat.
With leaders Leicester City untested and Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United showing signs of vulnerability – not to mention floundering Chelsea – Spurs currently look the division’s most robust team, but Pochettino said it was too soon to anoint them title contenders.
“It’s early to start to speak about that,” said the Argentine, whose side entertain 15th-place Chelsea next weekend.
“It’s too far, the end of the season, and we are a very young squad. We need to develop our way (of playing), to be consistent.
“It’s true that we show from the beginning of the season that we are consistent, but to aspire to try to win the title, maybe we need more.
“Step by step. You don’t know. It’s difficult to guess today what will happen in four, five months.”
Asked specifically what he meant by “more”, he replied: “Always there’s something to improve.
“We need to keep working hard and stay with our feet on the ground.”
Pochettino professed himself “very proud” after watching his hard-working team defeat a team who have already enjoyed wins over Arsenal, City, Chelsea and Liverpool this season.
Kane broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, rolling Carl Jenkinson to fire home, and added a second with a low drive early in the second half after Alderweireld had made it 2-0 by heading in Christian Eriksen’s corner.