Mauricio Pochettino has warned Tottenham’s title rivals his players will only get stronger during the run-in after Spurs dispatched Bournemouth 3-0 to keep the heat on leaders Leicester.
Harry Kane scored twice at White Hart Lane, the first after 44 seconds, and he then set up a third as Christian Eriksen completed a comfortable victory.
It means the gap between Tottenham and Leicester is back to five points, following the Foxes’ win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, but Pochettino’s men are now free of distractions, having been knocked out of the Europa League last week.
“It’s true we go into a different period now to recently,” Pochettino said. “After the international break we’ll play one game every week, and we’ll have time to prepare games in a different way, to training, to improve and do a lot of things that were impossible before.
“We are in a moment where we need to see our future in a very good way. It’s important to keep working hard and fight in every game.”
Kane’s double takes his league tally to 21 goals this season and moves him two ahead of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and three up on Everton’s Romelu Lukaku in the hunt for the Golden Boot.
The 22-year-old is also only the fifth Englishman to hit 20 goals in consecutive Premier League campaigns, joining Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler and Andy Cole in achieving the feat.
“Is he the best striker in the Premier League? For me, yes. Maybe it’s difficult to say he’s the best, but he’s one of the best,” Pochettino said.
“He’s one of the best strikers of a ball and his performance was fantastic today. It was a really good game for him.”
After the international break, Tottenham face a challenging run of games, with trips to Liverpool and Stoke coming either side of a home fixture against Manchester United.
It could give an opportunity to Leicester to extend their advantage in the title race while Arsenal and Manchester City are 11 and 15 points behind respectively, both with a game in hand.
“The gap Leicester have with us, Arsenal and City, we need to reduce,” Pochettino said.
“It’s true they have a good advantage but we need to fight and believe. We need to believe.”